Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Baptists in New Jersey"

See other formats




T.  S.  Griffiths 




"Truth  is  the  historian's  crown,   and  art  squares 
it  to  comeliness." — John  Hall. 






C  r  -^f 

^""^    ■  9  3<^' 

Copyright,  1904 
By  Thomas  S.  (jkiefitus 



The  author  of  this  history  of  Baptists  in  New  Jersey  owes  a  vast 
debt  of  gratitude  to  pastors  and  to  others  familiar  with  olden  days 
on  account  of  their  aid  to  secure  a  fitting  history  of  the  earlier  and  later 
times.  The  work  was  undertaken  at  the  suggestion  of  Rev.  O.  P. 
Eaches  of  Hightstown.  Fifty  and  more  years  ago  the  Rev.  R.  T. 
Middleditch  was  asked  by  the  Board  of  the  State  Convention  to  Avrite 
such  a  history.  Later,  Rev.  J.  M.  Carpenter  was  a  substitute  for  Mr. 
Middleditch.  The  papers  of  these  gentleman  have  fallen  into  my 
hands  and  other  facts  have  come  to  my  knowledge.  The  author  has 
been  associated  with  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  Convention  since  1843. 
He  was  personally  acquainted  with  the  men  who  orignated  H,  and 
with  very  old  men  and  women  who  were  familiar  with  the  earliest 
times  and  has  also  stored  up  from  his  youth  data  and  facts  touching 
the  past.  He  is  specially  indebted  to  O.  B.  Leonard  of  Plainfield, 
without  whose  help  the  history  would  have  been  quite  immature.  To  T. 
T.  Price,  M.  D.,  of  Tuckerton,  a  native  of  Cape  May  county,  eminently 
familiar  with  the  Baptist  beginnings  there  about;  to  J.  W.  LyeU  of 
Camden;  to  Deacon  Howell  of  Morristown;  to  Pastor  Fisher  of  Holm- 
del;  to  Pastor  Johnson  of  Jersey  City;  to  Pastor  Sembower  of  Cedar- 
ville;  to  D.  Dewolf  of  Newark;  to  Pastor  Anschutz  of  Hoboken;  to 
C.  A.  Kenney,  clerk  of  Lafayette  church;  to  Rev.  G.  W.  Clark  and 
Rev.  O.  P.  Eaches  both  of  Hightstown,  in  preparing  the  book  for 
"press."  Mr.  Clark  also  furnished  the  sketch  of  the  Afro-^^^merican 
churches,  and  prepared  the  brief  indexes.  The  help  of  these  men 
has  been  invaluable  and  they  are  entitled  to  the  highest  praise  for 
their  aid  in  making  the  book  becoming  to  the  denomination  and  to  its 


These  letters  have  come  to  me  unsolicited.  Each  of  these  gentle- 
men are  widely  known,  Hon.  O.  B.  Leonard  of  Plainfield,  New  Jersey, 
and  Dr.  T.  T.  Price  of  Tuckerton,  New  Jersej^  as  treasure  stores  of  old 
times  records.  No  others  in  New  Jersey  are  known  to  be  more  familiar 
with  our  denominational  history  from  the  first. 

"From  a  perusal  of  the  manuscript  of  New  Jersey  Baptist  churches 
history,  I  can  say  you  have  done  a  good  service  in  preparing  so  much 
valuable  information.  It  is  certainly  a  praiseworthy  undertaking, 
well  accomplished  and  will  be  a  useful  and  instructive  compendium, 
especially  of  the  early  beginnings  of  the  Baptist  churches  in  this  com- 
monwealth. The  denomination  will  be  indebted  to  you  all  through 
this  twentieth  century  for  such  comprehensive  encyclopedia." 

O.    B.    LEONARD. 
Plainfield,  New  Jersey,  March  4,  1904. 

"I  have  received  your  manuscript  with  a  great  deal  of  pleasure. 
It  has  been  a  labor  of  love.  You  have  certainly  condensed  the  materials 
wonderfully.  I  find  nothing  to  alter  and  little  to  criticise.  Let  us 
never  lower  our  flag,  nor  fail  to  honor  our  noble  heroic  ancestry.  I 
congratulate  you  that  vour  work  is  so  nearly  complete  and  so  well  done." 

T.  T.  PRICE,  M.  D. 
Tuckerton,  New  Jersey,  January  8th,  1904.    . 


Many  requests  have  come  to  me  to  write  the  History  of  New 
Jersey  Baptists,  founded  upon  my  long  acquaintance  with  Baptist 
interests.  Acquaintance,  however,  with  men  and  facts  is  but  one 
requisite  to  write  history,  if  associated  with  a  genial,  impartial  and 
philosophic  temper;  discriminating  between  fact  and  legend,  prejudice 
and  truth,  excepting  always  the  "materials  of  Morgan  Edwards," 
which  are  invaluable  and  the  only  record  we  have  of  the  early  times. 
Memorials  are  lost  that  would^have  been  links  in  our  chain  of  history, 
distinctive  of  the  men,  of  whom  we  know  but  little  and  yet  enough  to 
revere  them.  These  memorials,  did  we  have  them,  would  be  index 
pointers  at  the  corners  of  historic  travel,  whereby  we  could  better 
know  the  "ebb  and  flood"  of  opinions  as  well  as  the  places  of  the 
"liight  house  men"  by  whom  "courses"  have  been  laid  in  the  "crises" 
of  our  denominational  life.  These,  whether  fragments  or  consecutive 
records,  are  not  appreciated  in  the  time  of  their  happening,  but  later 
are  invaluable.  Since  Morgan  Edwards  wrote  his  "materials"  there 
has  not  been  a  historical  record  of  Baptist  affairs.  Since  the  "Acts  of 
the  Apostles,"  the  history  of  Christianity  has  been  an  account  of 
divers'  teachings  and  of  sects  without  number,  indicating  that  Chris- 
tianity later  as  at  the  first  looses  the  shackles  off  of  mind  and  con- 
sciences; sets   men  to  thinking,  constituting  them  independent. 

We  Baptists,  and  other  names  of  Christendom  have  multiplied  in 
this  land  of  tlie  free  beyond  all  anticipations.  Others  have  had  im- 
mense source  of  increase  by  emigration.  Ourselves  have  had  but 
growth.  New  Jersey  included  a  large  variety  of  people  from  abroad. 
England,  and  her  dependencies,  Sweden,  Denmark,  Holland,  Germany 
and  France  contributed  a  quota,  among  them  each  were  Baptists, 
including  a  large  number  of  men  and  women  and  persons  of  wealth. 
Baptist  judges  were  in  the  courts  and  were  usually  members  of  the 
Governor's  council.  The  pastors  of  our  churches  were  the  equals  of 
any  other  denomination.  The  Eatons,  Stellcs,  Morgans,  Millers  and 
Mannings  have  no  superiors.  In  the  central  part  of  the  colony,  five 
schools  of  different  denominations  and  of  the  highest  grade.  Two 
of  them.  Baptists,  were  located  within  a  radius  of  twenty  miles. 
Soon  after,  1700,  the  first  Baptist  college  went  from  New  Jersey. 
Its  churches  furnished  a  majority  of  the  constituents  of  the  first 
association  on  the  continent.  Legacies  exceeding  thousands  of  dollars 
were  left  for  education  in  New  Jersey,  and  contributions  and  legacies 


to  educate  for  the  ministry  were  made  long  before  there  was  an  educa- 
tion society. 

The  origin  of  Baptists  has  been  a  prolific  theme.  Among  our- 
selves there  is  a  wide  dissent.  Only  a  few  account  among  us  that 
antiquity  is  of  any  worth,  esteeming  it  better  to  be  right  now,  than 
to  concern  ourselves  about  those  who  lived  a  thousand  years  since. 
There  is  but  one  Protestant  sect  that  maintains  the  dogma  of 
"succession"  as  essential  to  the  reality  of  the  church.  While  it  may 
be  that  Baptist  churches  have  succeeded  each  other  in  the  centuries, 
it  is  not  proved.  The  only  fact  in  worth  assurance  is  ihat  we  are 
conformed  to  the  New  Testament  pattern.  Age  matters  little.  Sin 
is  older  than  time.  It  is  the  oldest  sad  fact  of  the  world  and  is  none 
the  better  for  its  antiquity,  but  the  worse.  Baptists  have  have  been 
a  distinctive  people  for  many  ages.  Moshieme  in  his  history  of  Chris- 
tianity, said  of  them:  "Their  origin  is  hid  in  the  depths  of  antiquity." 
In  other  words,  a  people  who  have  always  baptized,  are  constantly 
cropping  out  in  religious  history.  Many  of  the  good  and  wise  of 
other  Christian  names  than  Baptist,  who  have  made  religious 
history  their  study,  agree  with  Moshieme.  Not  that  a  people 
known  by  our  name  have  existed  from  time  immemorial,  but  that 
sects  like  to  ours  have  appeared  far  back  in  the  centuries.  In- 
deed thej'  held  as  Bible  teachings,  some  things  which  we  reject. 
As  families  of  children  differ,  some  tall,  some  short;  some  frail  and 
some  strong,  so  of  sects.  Allied  in  some  things,  different  in  others. 
Some  admit  our  antiquity  and  load  on  us  the  odiimi  of  the  wrong 
doing  of  the  fanatics  of  1530,  who  like  us  claimed  that  immersion 
only,  is  baptism. 

Belief  that  immersion  only  is  baptism,  does  not  constitute  a 
Baptist.  Else  tens  of  thousands  of  members  of  Pedo  Baptist  churches 
are  Baptists,  such  as  Mormons.  Other  sects,  whose  fellowship  evan- 
gelical Christendom  repells.  A  fundamental  and  primary  distinction 
of  Baptists  is,  that  the  Bible  is  the  only  authoritj^  for  a  Christian 
faith  and  practice;  that  each  disciple  has  an  inalienable  right  to  deter- 
mine for  himself,  what  its  teaching  is,  irrespective  of  birthright, 
ruler,  priest  or  church.  A  Baptist  is  one  who  is  responsible  to  God 
only  for  what  he  does  in  his  name.  Obedience  is  conformity  to  his 
will,  not  in  part,  but  in  all  things.  "Be  ye  scpara^te"  is  as  essential 
as  taking  the  Word  of  God  as  a  final  rule  of  light  and  of  hope.  There 
is  l)ut  one  proof  of  legitimacy,  a  New  Testament  birth.  Our  origin 
may  have  been  in  the  first,  the  fourteenth  or  the  twentieth  century; 
it  matters  not  which.  The  children  of  a  lawful  marriage  are  equally 
legitimate,  whether  born  in  the  first  or  the  seventh  marriage.     Our 


ancostry  or  antiquity  is  of  no  moment  other  than  that  it  is  of  the 
Divine  Word. 

Let  us,  however,  be  mindful  of  the  men  who  have  gone  before  us. 
We  inherit  their  integrity  to  the  truth.  Those  who  follow  us,  will 
glory  in  our  integrity,  if  we  give  to  them  the  truth,  as  pure  and  as 
Christly  as  we  have  received  it;  free  speech,  free  conscience,  an  open 
Bible  and  adherence  to  the  scripture  pattern,  both  of  church  order  and 
of  the  ordinances.  {Hebrew  13:10.)  "For  we  have  an  altar,  whereof 
they  have  no  right  to  eat  who  serve  the  Tabernacle."  Subject  as 
is  humanity  to  the  changing  current  of  human  opinions,  there  is  no 
safety  in  equal  civil  and  religious  rights.  The  few  Baptists  of 
the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries  have  infused  North  America 
and  Eastern  Europe  with  the  Baptist  idea  of  equal  rights  and  liberties. 

Liberty  has  its  chief  enemy  in  the  abuse  of  it.  Even  good  men 
use  it,  as  if  liberty  was  license.  There  is  need  to  keep  in  mind  the 
exhortation:  (I  Cor.  8:9)  "Take  heed  therefore,  lest  by  any  means, 
this  liberty  of  yours  be  a  stumbling  block."  A  peril  to  Baptists  is 
that  liberty  is  a  law  to  itself.  Civil  and  religious  liberty  safe, 
but  while  Baptists  have  refused  government  aid  for  their  schools, 
not  a  decade  has  passed  since  protestant  denominations  have  received 
monies  for  their  sectarian  uses. 

Only  in  the  United  States  do  Protestants,  except  Baptists,  refuse 
public  monies  for  sectarian  use.  Such  a  fact  is  of  tremendous  meaning. 
As  the  battle  for  the  separation  of  Church  and  State  was  won  by  Bap- 
tists, Baptists  are  the  only  security  for  the  permencancy  of  the  separa- 
tion. Liberty  of  speech,  liberty  of  conscience,  equal  civil  rights,  man 
his  own  master  Godward,  manward,  are  essentially  involved  in  the  con- 
tinuance of  this  order.  Civil  and  religious  liberty  is  not  that  one  may 
do  and  think  what  he  pleases,  but  that  one  may  do  and  think  what 
is  right  to  think  and  do.  "Things  honest  in  the  sight  of  God"  is  the 
Divine  limitation  of  doing  and  thinking.  Our  view  is:  That  the  right 
of  private  judgement  involves  the  necessity  of  respecting  the  opinion 
of  another. 

Agreement  is  the  Baptist  conception  of  church  fellowship  and  is 
Scriptural:  (Amos  3 :  3)  "Can  two  walk  together  except  they  be  agreed." 
The  going  out  of  Judas  Iscariot  in  the  interval  of  the  Passover  and  of  the 
institution  of  the  "Supper,"  illustrates  the  great  truth  that  the  ordi- 
nance divides  to  unite.  At  Babel  human  self  sufficiency  scattered  the 
people,  till  at  Pentecost,  "men  out  of  every  nation  under  heaven"  were 
gathered  together,  phophetic  of  the  Gospel  mission  to  gather  "into  one" 
in  the  churches  of  Christ.  Christianity  is  the  most  potent  force  to 
endow  men  with  care  for  the  "little   things,    but   as   much  for   few 


things."  Where  the  gold  and  clay  are  commingled  truth  and  false- 
hood have  fellowship. 

Certain  data  are  significant  of  the  Divine  part,  in  our  advanced  era: 
In  1436,  Gutenberg  used  types  to  print  with;  1483,  Luther  was  born; 
1492,  America  was  discovered;  in  1526,  the  first  English  Bible  was  print- 
ed; the  first  Swedish  Scriptures,  in  1528,  1530  the  first  Gennan  Bible, 
the  first  French  Scriptures  in  1531;  Henry  VIII  divorced  England 
and  Rome,  in  1534;  the  Duke  of  Alva  at  the  end  of  the  Thirty  Years' 
War  to  destroy  Holland,  retired  in  1573;  Within  about  one  hundred 
and  thirty-five  years  occurred  these  wonderful  events,  fraught  with  the 
rescue  of  mankind  from  the  tyranies  of  civil  and  religious  despotism. 
With  but  two  other  eras  can  this  period  be  compared:  That  of  the 
birth  of  the  Immanuel,  and  that  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence 
by  the  American  colonies.  The  last  of  which  was  the  culmination  of 
the  events  from  1436  to  1573. 

In  the  meantime,  God  had  kept  North  America  from  Piomish  settle- 
ment and  sent  hither  the  Bible  educated  men  of  Europe  to  constitute 
a  nation  he  had  prepared  for  Himself.  How  happened  this  chain  of 
events:  Printing,  Luther  born,  America  foimd,  an  open  Bilile,  England 
wrenched  from  Popish  rule,  this  continent  sliut  up  from  an  alien  Christi- 
anity and  conditions  in  their  native  lands  to  drive  these  Bible  taught 
people  to  a  wildreness  owned  by  savages  thousands  of  miles  over  the 
sea,  if  God  had  no  hand  in  it,  if  He  had  no  purpose  in  the  world's  life? 
A  miracle  greater  than  giving  life  to  the  dead  and  corresponding  to  His 
resurrection.  Civil  and  religious  freedom  came  to  the  earth  peacefully, 
elsewhere  it  would  have  cost  an  increditable  price  of  human  life  and 
treasure.  Amid  the  surprises  of  history  is  the  ease  and  certainty  with 
which  the  wise  plans  of  the  Jesuits  to  pre-empt  this  continent  for  them- 
selves were  brushed  aside.  Their  mission  enterprises  are  wonderful  not 
alone  for  their  vast  comprehension,  but  also  for  their  faith  in  Jesus 
Christ,  a  Saviour.  The  recesses  of  Asia  and  Africa,  the  isles  of  the  sea, 
the  frozen  North  and  the  frozen  South,  the  martyrdoms  of  the  Roman 
missionaries,  tell  the  story  of  the  crucifixion  which  exceeds  even  the  ro- 
mance of  the  life  of  Loyola,  the  founder  of  the  Jesuit  order.  In  North 
America,  their  stations  through  Canada  to  Detroit,  Michigan,  St.  Paul, 
thence  North  and  West  to  the  Pacific  and  South  to  New  Orleans,  and 
all  communicating  with  each  other  from  Northern  glaciers  to  Cape 
Horn.  What  South  America  is  North  America  would  have  been  only 
that  God  turned  hither  men  who  had  learned  of  Him,  of  themselves, 
and  who  had  access  to  Him  without  the  intervention  of  a  priest.  An 
open  Bible  has  been  mightier  than  either  priest  or  infidel. 


Neither  Roman  Catholics  nor  Protestants  in  Europe  gave  protection 
to  Baptists,  with  the  exception  of  Philip  of  Hesse.  Roman  Catholics 
and  Protestants  persecuted  to  death  Baptists.  The  fundamental  faith 
of  Baptists,  the  Bible,  a  law  for  kings,  priests  and  people  alike  and  each 
disciple  a  judge  for  himself  of  what  is  truth;  all  men  having  an  inalien- 
able right  to  teach  his  own  convictions  of  truth  and  duty,  a  heresy  in 
the  times  which  consented  to  kingly  and  priestly  right  to  dictate, 
which  sentiment  stripped  king  and  priest  of  right  and  power.  John  Knox, 
Luther,  Melancthon,  Zwingle  and  even  the  rulers  of  Holland,  plotted 
to  exterminate  the  malignant  sect.  Phillip  of  Hesse  at  one  time  was 
their  protector.  Of  the  two  thousand  and  more  Ana  Baptists  executed 
up  to  1530,  not  one  had  died  or  suffered  harm  in  Hesse.  In  1529,  in 
reply  to  a  remonstrance  from  the  electors  of  Saxony,  Philip  wrote*.  "We 
are  still  unable  at  the  present  time  to  find  it  in  our  conscience  to  have 
any  one  executed  with  the  sword  on  account  of  his  faith,  to  punish  capit- 
ally those  who  have  done  nothing  more  than  err  in  the  faith,  cannot  be 
justified  on  Gospel  grounds."  When  fire,  or  rack,  and  sword  awaited 
our  brethren  in  every  other  place,  Hesse  was  a  refuge  for  them.  Mon- 
vovia  also  for  .selfish  and  business  reasons  gave  Baptists  comparative 
seciu-ity  from  the  stake,  the  dungeon  and  the  rack,  they  being  experts 
in  certain  manufactures  for  which  Monvovia  had  repute  from  abroad. 

It  is  well  to  judge  charitably  of  the  people  who  lived  centuries 
back.  Mindful  of  the  times  in  which  they  lived,  of  their  education 
under  Roman  Catholic  training.  MacauUy  indicates  why  and  how  it 
was  that  kings  and  rulers  of  the  States  of  Europe,  except  England  and 
Holland  gained  absolute  rule  over  the  estates  and  consciences  of  their 
subjects.  The  Parliaments  of  England  and  Holland  kept  control  of 
the  purse  and  thus  bridled  their  Kings,  compelling  them  to  heed 
their  subjects  in  order  to  get  supplies  for  their  maintainance.  The 
purse  is  always  a  fulcrum  of  power,  whether  in  the  hand  of  the 
executive  or  in  that  of  the  people.  With  the  sword  in  one  hand  and 
the  purse  in  the  other,  the  people  had  but  one  alternative,  sub- 

Printing  had  made  the  Bible  an  open  book,  educating  the  people 
into  a  conscioasness  of  responsibility  for  what  they  were  and  what  they 
ought  to  be.  The  discovery  of  America  had  awakened  hopes  of  escape 
from  the  bondage  of  priest  and  king.  Thus  social,  political,  and  spirit- 
ual inspirations  transformed  the  era. 

In  lf)43,  the  "Westminster  Confession  of  Faith"  was  formulated. 
While  showing  some  advance  from  the  cruel  policies  of  former  times, 
"the  confession  retained  the  lever  of  civil  authority  to  meddle  in  the 
religion  of  men.     It  affirmed  that  "heretics  may  be  lawfully  called  to 


account  and  proceeded  against  by  the  civil  magistrate.  It  asserted  the 
duty  of  the  civil  magistrate  to  preserve  the  unity  and  peace  of  the 
church;  to  suppress  heresies  and  reform  all  corruptions  and  abuses  in 
worship  and  discipline."  The  Baptist  "Confession  of  Faith,"  published 
in  the  year  before,  1642,  declared:  "It  is  the  duty  of  the  magistrate 
to  tenderly  care  for  the  liberty  of  men's  consciences  without  which  all  other 
liberties  will  not  be  worth  naming,  much  less  enjoying.  And  as  we  can- 
not do  anything  contrary  to  conscience,  so,  neither  can  we  forbear  the 
doing  of  that  which  our  consciences  bind  us  to  do,  but  in  case  we  find  not 
the  magistrate  to  favor  us  herein,  yet  we  dare  not  suspend  our  practice, 
because  we  believe  we  ought  to  go  on  in  obedience  to  Christ." 

In  1610,  thirty-three  years  before  the  adoption  of  the  "Westminster 
Confession,"  Baptists  issued  "a  confession  of  faith"  in  which  they  assert 
"that  the  magistrate  is  not  to  meddle  with  religion  or  matters  of  con- 
science, nor  compel  men  to  this  or  that  form  of  religion,  because  Christ 
is  the  King  and  Law-giver  of  the  Church  and  conscience."  The  West- 
minster Assembly  might  have  known  by  these  published  statements 
(and  by  their  contention  against  Baptist  teaching)  a  better  way  than 
theirs.  After  one  hundred  and  forty-four  years,  1787,  the  "West- 
minster Confession"  was  altered  to  conform  to  our  Constitution,  which 
guaranteed  civil  and  religious  liberty  to  all,  without  respect  to  magis- 
terial or  courtly  permission. 

Among  the  memorable  events  of  history  was  the  part  Baptists  had 
incorporating  in  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  the  guarantees 
of  religious  liberty  and  civil  rights  to  all  who  live  under  the  constitution. 
History  is  silent  of  the  means  and  men  whereliy  the  fundamental  prin- 
ciples of  Baptists  were  incorporated  in  the  Constitiuton.  Writers  of 
secular  history  are  of  two  classes;  One,  having  but  little  knowledge  and 
less  appreciation  of  Christianity  and,  hence,  ignorant  of  the  influences, 
which  as  a  constituent  of  society  and  a  factor  of  government  it  imbues 
with  its  teaching  of  right  and  of  law.  The  other  class  having  a  denomi- 
national relation  is  preoccupied  with  their  religious  predilections  and 
rarely  see  with  unbiassed  mind  the  good  others  exert  and  think  it  of 
indifferent  moment.  Neither  is  a  competent  historian  ignorant  as  they 
are  of  the  quiet  force  that  lays  foundations  and  plants  "land  marks," 
which  determine  the  courses  of  generations. 

Only  Pennsylvaina,  New  Jersey  and  Rhode  Island  were  colonies 
that  never  knew  a  persecution.  In  New  Jersey  as  in  Rhode  Island  there 
were  historic  facts  that  distinguished  the  source  of  the  nation's  constitu- 
tional liberties.  About  1664-5,  Obadiah  Holmes,  Sr.,  a  victim  of 
Puritanical  persecution  in  Massachusetts  came  with  other  Baptists  and 
some  "Friends"  (Quakers)  and  took  up  a  large  tract  of  land  in  East 


Jorspy.  These  f!;uaranteod  in  their  patent:  "Unto  any  and  all  who 
shall  plant  and  inhabit  any  of  the  lands  aforesaid,  they  shall  have  free 
liberty  of  conscience  without  any  molestation  or  disturbance  whatsoever 
in  their  way  of  worship."  In  1666,  a  colony  of  Congregationa,lists  from 
Connecticut  founded  Newark,  New  Jersey.  These  resolved  that:  "None 
should  be  admitted  freemen,  or  free  Burgesses,  save  such  as  were  members 
of  one  or  the  other  of  the  Congregational  Churches,  and  determined  as  a  fun- 
damental agreement  and  order  that  any  who  might  differ  in  religious 
opinion  from  them  and  who  would  not  keep  their  views  to  themselves  should 
be  compelled  to  leave  the  place."  These  provisions  show  whence  the 
nation's  liberties  came. 

Many  Baptists  in  New  Jersey  and  in  Pennsylvania  held  judicial 
positions.  Pastor  N.  Jenkins  of  First  Baptist  church  of  Cape  May 
was  a  member  of  the  Governor's  Council.  In  1721,  a  bill  was  intro- 
duced into  the  Council  to  punish  those  who  denied  the  doctrine  of  the 
Trinity;  the  Divinity  of  Christ;  the  inspiration  of  the  Scriptures,  etc., 
Mr.  Jenkins  opposed  it. 

The  bill  was  quashed.  Delegates  from  twelve  colonies  met  at 
Philadelphia  when  Congress  was  in  session  in  September,  1774.  Rev. 
Mr.  Backus  of  Massachusetts,  an  eminent  Baptist,  was  urged  by  Rev. 
J.  Manning,  John  Gano,  William  Van  Horn  and  Hezekiah  Smith  to 
go  to  Philadelphia  and  see  if  something  could  not  be  done  to  secure 
our  religious  liberties."  There  was  a  meeting  of  the  chief  members 
of  Congress:  Thomas  Gushing,  Samuel  and  John  Adams,  R.  T.  Paine, 
James  Kinsey,  Stephens  Hopkins,  Samuel  Ward,  J.  Galloway  and 
Thomas  Mifflin,  the  Mayor  and  foremost  "Friends  of  the  City"  and 
Baptists,  Mr.  Backus,  Samuel  Jones,  William  Rogers  and  Morgan 
Edwards.  The  last  three  pastors,  in  Philadelphia  of  Baptist  churches. 
A  principal  speaker  was  Israel  Pemberton,  a  Quaker.  John  Adams 
accused  him  of  Jesuitism.  Then,  says  a  record  of  the  meeting:  "Up 
rose  Israel  Pemberton:"  "John,  John,"  he  said,  "Dost  thou  not 
know  when  "Friends"  were  hung  in  thy  colony;  when  Baptists  were 
hung  and  whipped  and  finally  when  Edward  Shippen,  a  great  mer- 
chant of  Boston  was  publicly  whipped  because  he  would  not  subscribe 
to  the  belief  of  thee  and  thy  Fathers  and  was  driven  to  the  colony, 
of  which  he  afterwards  became  Governor?"  In  the  midst  of  the  dis- 
cussion, John  Adams  exclaimed:  "The  Baptists  might  as  well  expect 
a  change  in  the  solar  system,  as  to  expect  that  the  Massachusetts 
authorities  would  give  up  their  establishment." 

The  reporter  present  at  the  meeting  adds  to  the  former  state- 
ment: "In  that  struggle,  as  always  before,  the  Baptists  led  and  the 
foremost  man  among  them  was  James  Manning,  President  of  Brown 


University,  baptized  and  licensed  at  Scotch  Plains,  New  Jersey,  and 
educated  in  that  state.  We  owe  nothing  to  the  Puritans  for  our 
civil  and  religious  liberties.  Had  they  had  their  way  we  would  not 
have  had  them.  A  line  of  inquiry  for  the  origin  of  Baptists  has  not 
been  explored.  Baptist  churches  appeared  among  them  at  a  very 
early  date,  so  that  their  beginning  is  unknown  nor  probably  ever  will 
be.  A  tradition  among  them  is:  "that  they  have  been  Baptists 
since  the  Go.spel  was  first  preached  in  Wales."  From  the  earliest 
date  they  have  cherished  those  amazing  ideas  of  human  rights  of  civil 
and  religious  liberty,  of  which  we  l)oast.  "The  non-conformist"  an 
English  paper  asserts,  "in  England  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  Bap- 
tists existed  as  early  as  the  third  century."  (Cook,  page  27.)  Austin, 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury  in  the  sixth  had  groat  trouble  with  a  colony 
of  Baptists  in  Wales  and  used  such  repressive  measures  as  to  load 
his  memory  with  infamy."  C.  H.  Spurgeon  said:  "It  would  not  be 
impossible  to  show  that  the  Christians  who  dwelt  in  this  land  were 
of  the  same  faith  and  order  as  the  believers  who  are  now  called 
Baptists."  The  Welsh,  ostracized  from  commerce  and  travel;  shut  up 
in  their  mountains  are  left  out  of  history.  Yet  they  had  advanced 
views  of  social  life;  of  civil  and  of  religious  liberties  and  equalities 
that  antidate  memory   and  hi.story. 

The  Welsh  Triads  were  a  code  of  law,  unique  and  unparalleled, 
known  only  to  themselves.  The  Triads  are  thus  named  because  set 
in  threes,  three  being  a  sacred  number  among  the  Druids,  who  were 
priests  and  teachers,  learned  and  influential.  These  Triads  are  said  to 
have  originated  among  the  Welsh  Druids  and  were  added  to  by  suc- 
ceeding generations.  The  Welsh  Druids  are  said  to  be  in  advance  of 
other  Druids  in  their  ideas  of  the  "rights"  of  mankind,  and  taught 
"That  it  was  the  duty  of  all  men  to  seek  after  trnth  and  to  receive 
{maintain)  it,  against  the  whole  world,"  an  assertion  which  is  the  germ 
of  civil  and  of  religious  freedom,  and  the  essential  element  of  growth 
in  physics,  morals  and  brains.  Roger  Williams  and  William  Penn,  each 
of  Welsh  origin,  incorporated  in  the  charter  of  their  colonies,  the  largest 
liberties  to  all.  The  Triads  were  evolved  from  what  is  called  "Dy- 
venwal  Moelmud."  They  were  knowni  abroad,  about  three  centuries 
before  Christ.  Of  two  hundred  and  twenty-eight,  twenty  are  inser- 
ted .showing  their  type  and  the  intensity  of  their  provision  for  a 
free  conscience;  a  free  speech;  and  the  equal  rights  of  prince  and 
peasant;   king  and  subject,   noble  and  workman. 

I  Three  pillars  of  the  social  state;  sovereignty;  the  law  of  the 
country;  the  office  of  a  judge. 


II  Three  duties  incumbent  on  each  of  these  three,  instruction; 
information  and  record;  regulations  for  the  good  of  the  community; 
justice,  privilege  and  protection  to  all. 

III  Three  elements  of  law;  knowledge;  natural  right;  consci- 

IV  Three  things  which  a  judge  ought  always  to  study:  equity, 
habitually;  mercy,  conscientiously;  knowledge,  profoundly  and 

V  Three  things  necessary  in  a  judge:  To  be  earnest  in  his 
zeal  for  the  truth;  to  inquire  diligently  to  find  out  the  truth  from 
others;  to  be  subtle  in  examining  in  any  cause  brought  into  his  court; 
to  discover  deceit,  in  order  that  his  decision  may  be  just  and 

VI  Three  guardians  of  law:  a  learned  judge;  a  faithful  witness; 
a  conscientious  decision. 

VII  Three  ties  of  civil  society;  just  liberty  of  ingress  and  of 
egress;  common  rights;  just  laws. 

VIII  Three  things  bring  a  state  or  community  to  ruin.  Exor- 
bitant privileges;  perversion  of  justice;  an  unconcern. 

IX  Three  bonds  of  society:  sameness  of  rights;  sameness  of 
occupancy;  sameness  of  constitutional  law. 

X  Three  of  a  common  rank  against  whom  a  weapon  is  not  to 
be  unsheathed:  a  man,  who  is  unarmed;  a  man  before  he  has  a  beard; 
a  woman. 

XI  Every  Welshman  has  by  birth  three  native  rights:  In  the 
term  of  Welshman  a  Welsh  woman  is  included;  The  cultivation  of  a 
tenure  of  five  acres  of  land  in  his  own  right;  the  use  of  defensive 
arms  and  signs  (armorial  insignia);  the  right  of  voting;  which  a  male 
attains  when  he  has  a  beard;  and  a  female  when  she  marries. 

XII  There  are  three  prohibitions  of  the  unsheathing  of  offensive 
weapon  or  of  holding  them  in  the  hand:  In  an  assembly  of  worship 
in  a  court  of  the  country  and  of  the  Lord;  the  arms  of  a  guest  where 
he  remains. 

XIII  Three  things  appertain  to  every  man  personally:  in- 
tance;  right;  kind. 

XIV  Three  excellencies  of  the  law:  to  prevent  oppression;  to  pun- 
ish evil  deeds;  to  secure  a  just  retribution  for  what  is  unlawfully  done. 

XV  Three  kinds  of  justice  in  law:  justice  as  it  depends  on  truth; 
on  knowledge;  on  conscience;  truth  is  the  root  of  judgment;  conscience 
is  the  root  of  discrimination;  knowledge  is  the  root  of  conduct  to  its 


XVI  Three  things  that  make  a  man  worthy  of  being  chief  of  a 
clan:  That  if  he  speak  to  a  relation,  he  is  listened  to;  that  he  will  con- 
tend with  a  relation  and  be  feared  bj'  him;  and  that  he  is  offered  security, 
it  will  be  accepted. 

XVII  Three  protections  are  general:  a  court  of  law;  a  place  of 
worship;  a  plow  or  team  at  work. 

XVIII  Three  things  that  must  be  listened  to  by  a  court  or  judge: 
a  complaint;  a  petition;  a  reply. 

XIX  There  are  three  standing  forms  as  to  a  court:  to  appoint  a 
proper  day  for  its  commencement;  the  pleading;  the  judgment;  that  the 
place  be  well  knowTi  within  sight  of  country  and  clan;  the  assembling 
peacefully  and  quietly  and  that  there  be  no  naked  weapon  against  any 
who  go  to  court. 

XX  Three  that  are  silent  in  a  general  assembly;  The  Lord  of  the 
soil  or  king;  for  he  is  to  listen  to  what  is  said  and  when  he  has  heard  all, 
he  may  speak,  what  he  may  deem  necessary,  as  the  law  and  the  decision 
the  law  require;  the  Judge  who  is  not  to  speak  till  ho  declares  his  judg- 
ment as  to  that  which  has  been  proved  and  declared  to  the  jur}^;  one 
who  is  surety  for  another  and  not  bound  to  reply,  but  the  Judge  or  Jury. 

A  question  occurs.  Did  not  Blackstone  draw  his  ideas  of  justice 
and  of  truth  and  equality  from  these  Triads?  They  provide  that  no 
unsheathed  weapon  shall  be  allowed  in  a  place  of  worship,  nor  in  a 
court.  That  a  teacher  ought  to  be  in  each  family.  That  neither 
King,  Lord,  Judge  and  surety  be  allowed  to  meddle  in  the  debates  of 
the  assembh^;  that  a  homestead  of  five  acres  and  a  married  woman's 
right  to  vote  were  guaranteed.  But  one  persecution  has  ever  been  knowTi 
in  Wales,  except  one  in  a  foray  of  Roman  Catholics,  who  were  immedi- 
ately expelled  from  the  land,  nor  has  there  been  kno-\\Ti  a  case  of  idol 

Happily  America  proved  a  refuge  where  freedom  was  safe.  Our 
denominational  life  was  nurtured  by  Welsh  pastors.  Only  in  the 
L^nited  States  of  America  are  there  constitutional  guarantees  of  free 
worship,  and  of  speech.  Baptists  and  Quakers  paid  the  penalty  of 
having  an  open  Bible.  Outside  of  the  three  colonies,  Rhode  Island, 
Pennsylvania  and  New  Jersey,  even  in  America,  there  was  no  security 
for  them.  In  Maryland  there  was  a  limited  freedom.  In  1639,  the 
Roman  Catholic  faith  was  made  the  creed  of  the  colony.  But  in  ten 
years,  the  law  was  amended  guaranteeing  liberty  of  worship  to  all 
who  worshipped  Jesus  Christ,  shutting  out  Unitarians,  and  infidels  and 
all  who  denied  to  Virgin  Mary  her  Romish  functions.  After  the  Amer- 
ican Revolution,  the  entire  nation  was  made  by  the  adoption  of  the 
Constitution,  a  home  for  every  belief  possible  to  men. 



Why  associate  these  Churches  as  one?  Because  the  body  now 
known  as  Middlctown  Church,  derives  its  name  from  the  village  in 
which  it  is.  But  Middlctown  Church  originally  included  a  vast  ter- 
ritory, while  the  present  Church  is  wholly  local.  Further,  nearly  all 
of  the  constituents  of  the  Church  settled  at  Baptisttown,  (Holmdel) — 
Stouts,  Holmes,  Bownes,  Grover,  Lawrence.  Ashton,  the  first  pastor, 
settled  West  of  Holmdel.  Coxes,  Cheesmans  and  Mounts  located  at 
Upper  Freehold,  making  Holmdel  the  center  of  the  Church.  The 
first  house  of  worship  and  parsonage  were  at  Holmdel,  where  the 
pastors  lived  until  1826.  The  second  house  of  worship  and  par- 
sonage were  also  built  there.  The  "yearly  meetings,"  originally 
held  between  Middlctown  and  Piscataway,  were  held  only  at  Holmdel 
and  Upper  Freehold;  never  at  Middletown  village,  it  being  distant 
from  Baptist  families.  At  Middletown  village  a  town  hall  was  built 
and  used  for  worship  until  1732,  when  Baptists  built  a  church  edifice. 
Rev.  John  Burrows  gave  a  lot  on  which  to  build  a  house  of  worship. 
Pastor  Ashton  was  the  first  Baptist  minister  in  New  Jersey  and 
preached  the  first  sermon  at  the  house  of  John  Stout,  Sr.,  near  Bap- 
tisttown (Holmdel).  His  wife,  Penelope  Stout,  was  buried  in  a  family 
cemetery  on  her  husband's  farm.     It  has  been  long  since  lost  in  a  field. 

The  absolute  oneness  of  these  churches  prior  to  1836  is  shown  in 
their  record.  That  at  Middletown  village  is  essentially  involved  in 
that  at  Holmdel.  Both  Cohansie  through  Obadiah  Holmes,  Jr.,  and 
first  Hopewell  through  John  Stout,  Jr.,  and  his  brother  James  originated 
in  Baptisttown  (Holmdel).  Middletown,  the  earliest  Baptist  church 
south  of  Rhode  Island  was  constituted  in  1667-8.  Some,  who  claitoed 
to  know,  insisted  that  in  1664-5  was  its  beginning.  Benedict  intimates 
its  organization  in  1667.  Morgan  Edwards  alluding  to  the  incorporation 
correspondence,  with  lower  Dublin  in  1688,  speaks  of  an  impression 
then  prevalent — that  "the  church  had  been  in  order  since  1667." 
The  supposition  of  its  origin  in  1688,  came  from  the  advice  of  the 
Middletown  Church  to  Middletown  in  1688,  "that  they  do  incorporate." 
The  church  was  not  incorporated  until  1793.  Pastor  Stout  investigated 
the  matter  in  1837,  and  was  then  told  by  very  old  people,  lineal  descend- 
ants of  constituents,  "that  after  settling.  Baptists  met,  had  preaching, 
observed  the  ordinances,  brought  up  their  children  in  the  faith"  and 


in  the  worship  of  God  and  knew  from  tradition,  that  while  a  short  time 
elapsed  before  a  church  was  organized  the  church  had  been  in  regular 
order  if  not  before  1665,  soon  after.  Finally,  he  decided,  that  it  was 
safe  to  date  its  origin  as  early  as  1668.  Accordingly  in  1872,  Pastor 
Stout  changed  the  date  of  the  organization  of  the  church  in  the  minutes 
of  the  Trenton  Association  from  1688  to  1668.  Before  making  the 
change  Mr.  Stout  conferred  with  pastors  of  branches  of  the  church, 
who  had  made  investigations  and  they  agreed  with  him  in  making 
the  change. 

Benedict  speaks  of  John  Browne  as  the  first  pastor  of  the  church. 
But  there  was  not  a  John  Browne  among  the  early  Baptists.  James 
Ashton,  a  constituent,  was  the  first  pastor.  It  is  significant  of  these 
Baptist  colonists,  that  they  included  an  ordained  Baptist  minister 
as  one  of  them.  Of  these  thirty-six  patentees,  eighteen  were  Baptists. 
The  wives  of  some  others  were  Baptists.  They  were  conscientious 
God-fearing  persons.  From  the  time  of  their  settlement  to  1668,  was 
almost  twenty-five  years.  Is  it  reasonable  that  such  people  fleeing 
from  persecution,  would  live  like  heathen,  all  of  these  years,  allowing 
their  children  to  grow  up  Godless,  having  included  a  Baptist  min- 
ister to  be  their  pastor  ?  Other  denominations  were  among  the 
colonists:  Episcopalians,  who  founded  a  church;  Presbj'terians,  who 
owned  the  only  cemetery  in  the  place,  in  which  Abel  Morgan  was  buried. 
These  were  people  of  "means"  and  of  social  position;  yet  Baptists 
absorbed  them,  and  their  ownership  of  lands  is  the  only  trace  of  them 
that  remains.  Would  it  have  been  so,  had  the  Baptists  left  the 
field  to  them  for  twenty-four  years?  What  and  where  would  these 
children  have  been?  Beside,  these  Baptists  planted  stations  afar  off 
and  nearby;  would  they  have  done  this  witliout  a  home  church?  One 
of  the  Holmes  family,  has  made  a  genealogical  record  of  the  family  and 
informs  the  writer  that  she  has  evidence  that  Obadiah  Holmes,  Sr.,  was 
present  at  the  organization  of  the  church  at  Middlctown.  He  died  in  1 682, 
six  years  before  1688.  His  sons,  Jonathan,  the  eldest,  and  Obadiah, 
the  youngest,  were  constituents  of  the  church.  Obadiah,  Jr.,  often 
visited  the  old  home  in  Rhode  Island,  returning  about  1683-5  to 
Holmdel,  he  moved  to  Cohansie,  Salem  county.  He  was  the  first 
Baptist  minister  there,  gathered  the  Baptists  in  meetings  and  really 
originated  the  Baptist  church.  His  being  a  constituent  in  Middletown 
in  1688  is  improbable,  being  in  Salem  county  and  a  Judge  of  the 
Courts  there.  Obadiah  Holmes,  Jr.,  for  his  birth  and  christening 
in  a  Congregational  church  in  Salem,  Mass.,  and  of  his  successful  labors 
in  Cohansie.*  Of  the  Holmes  family,  John,  the  second  son,  said  to  be 
*See  record  of  Cohansie  Church. 


the  first  Baptist  resident  in  Philadelphia,  going  there  in  1756  was  a 
man  of  wealth,  a  judge  in  the  city  courts.  Obadiah,  Jr.,  the  youngest, 
was  also  a  Judge  in  Salem  county  and  Jonathan,  of  Holmdel,  the  eldest 
son,  was  a  member  of  the  Governor's  Council  the  Colonial  Legisla- 
ture. Many  other  Baptists  in  New  Jersey  held  high  places  in  civil 
and  political  life,  illustrating  the  liberal  policy  of  the  Colonial  govern- 
ment and  the  competency  of  our  Baptist  ancestry  for  place  and 

It  has  been  said  that  the  Apostles  of  our  Lord  were  poor  and  ignor- 
ant men,  as  if  our  Lord  had  no  more  sense  than  to  belittle  himself  and 
his  cause  by  choosing  weakness  and  ignorance  to  influence  men  to 
righteousness,  rather  than  strength  and  intelligence.  Men  who  were  to 
associate  with  the  highest  culture  and  to  stand  before  kings.  A  like 
falsehood  is  said  of  Baptists,  who  laid  the  foundations  on  which  we 
buUd.  Our  Baptist  forefathers  were  the  foremost  men  of  their  times. 
Note  this  contrast:  A  majority  of  Baptists  founded  a  colony  in 
Monmouth  county.  Their  patent  had  this  pledge:  "Unto  any  and  all 
persons,  who  shall  plant  or  inhabit  any  of  the  lands  aforesaid;  they  shall 
have  free  liberty  of  conscience,  without  any  molestation  or  disturbance, 
whatsoever,  in  their  worship."     This  was  in  1664  or  5. 

Proprietors  for  a  Congregational  colony  got  a  charter  for  the  set- 
tlement of  Newark,  in  New  Jersey,  in  1666  and  provided:  "None 
should  be  admitted  freemen  or  free  Burgesses,  save  such  as  were  members 
of  one  or  other  of  the  Congregational  churches;  and  they  determined  as  a 
fundamental  agreement  and  order,  that  any  who  might  differ  in  religious 
opinion  from  them  and  who  would  not  keep  their  views  to  themselves 
should  be  compelled  to  leave  the  place."  Can  there  be  a  wider  contrast 
between  a  Baptist  and  a  Pedo  Baptist?  Mr.  Lawrence,  one  of  the  pat- 
entees of  Monmouth  county,  was  not  himself  a  Baptist  church  member, 
but  his  wife  was  a  Baptist.  This  gave  us  a  majority  of  the  patentees. 
Some  of  these  were  "Friends"  (Quakers)  locating  in  Shrewsbury.  They 
fully  agreed  in  this  guarantee.  The  names  of  the  eighteen  Baptists 
were,  excepting  Mr.  Lawrence: — Richard  Stout,  father;  John  or  Jona- 
than Stout,  son;  Jonathan  Holmes,  the  oldest,  brother  to  Obadiah 
Holmes,  Jr.,  the  youngest;  James  Grover,  father;  James  Grover,  Jr., 
son;  Jonathan  Bowne,  father;  John  Bowne,  son;  John  Cox;  Rev. 
James  Ashton,  John  Wilson,  John  Buchan,  Walter  Hall,  William 
Compton,  Thomas  Whitlock,  William  Lay  ton,  William  Cheeseman, 
George  Mount. 

Of  these,  the  youngest  Stout  emigrated  to  Hopewell  early  in  1700 
and  the  name  is  lost  from  Holmdel.  Rev.  D.  B.  Stout,  of  Middle- 
town  village  was  a  descendant  of  Richard  Stout.     The  descendants  of 


tlic  ilolincs  live  on  ilicir  ancestral  estate,  except  Oljidiali,  who  reniaiii- 
cd  in  Soi'.th  Jersey  in  th(^  vicinities  of  (Johansie.  The  Hownes  inter- 
married with  the  Crawfords  and  their  name  is  lost.  To  a  large  extent 
the  lands  of  these  adifiiiied.  The  Cheescmans,  Coxes  and  Mounts  s(!t- 
tlcd  at  Upper  Frceliold  and  .lacobstown.  Their  names  are  among  the 
constituents  of  Hightstown.  Upper  Freehold  was  an  original  Baptist 
community,  having  with  the  exception  of  Holmdel  anil  Cohansie,  the 
earliest  liaptist  house  of  worship  in  the  colony.  The  son  of  Hev.  James 
Ashton,  th(!  first  pastor  of  the  old  church  moved  to  Upper  Freehold 
in  an  early  day  and  dying  a  bachelor,  his  name  is  lost.  He  bequeathed 
property  to  the  church.  On  account  of  the  Brays  naming  their  set- 
tlement in  Hvmterdon  county  Baptisttown,  Holmdel,  was  adopted  for 
the  old  Baptisttown  as  a  memorial  nanic!. 

T\w  parsonage  being  at  Holmdel,  pastors  went  fn»ru  tiicre  to 
their  scattered  flock  and  grouping  them  into  mutuality,  laid  the  founda- 
tions of  many  fiaptist  cluirches.  From  the  first  these  liaptists  did  not 
limit  themselves.  Houses  of  worship  were  built  in  distant  parts  anrl 
periodic  appointments  were  made,  to  which  tlie  people  would  travel 
thirty  miles  on  foot  or  on  horseback  along  "bridle  paths"  taking 
their  children  with  them.  This  in  part  explains  why  long  sermons  came 
into  fashion.  Those  who  made  these  sacrifices  were  not  content  with 
a  "taste"  of  the  word,  nor  with  platitudes.  They  wanted  substance 
and  plenty  of  "sound  doctrine;"  something  to  think  of  for  a  month  or 
months  and  not  a  "milk  and  water"  diet.  Upper  Freehold  becaiiH-  the 
center,  whenc(>  Middletown  pastors  radiated  from  the  ocean  to  the  Dela- 
ware river  and  to  far  South  of  Trenton,  covering  a  vast  territory. 
There  is  scarcely  a  more  marked  instance!  of  the  mockery  of  a  name, 
than  that  which  gives  to  the  church  in  the  Middletown  village,  the 
memories,  constituency  and  work  of  the  original  Middletown  church. 
If  any  one  church  is  entitled  to  have  been  that  body  it  is  Holmdel. 
Middletown  vill.Mg(>  was  otic  of  i(s  lesser  centers.  I'p  (o  \KAV,,  n 
majority  of  Mic  i?a[)lisiiis  wen-  administered  at  Ibihndcl,  wlicre 
most  of  iho.  memlx-rs  could  be  present.  For  seventy  years,  the 
history  of  the  churcii  is  obscure  as  respects  its  pastors;  James  A.shton, 
John  Burrows,  John  Okison,  are  names  coming  to  us  by  their  con- 
nection with  important  events  in  its  history.  How  long  Mr.  Ashton 
was  pastor  is  not  known.  John  Burrows  was  pa.stor  about  eighteen 
years;  Mr.  Okison  followed.  Mr.  P^aglcsfield  came  next  and  died  in 
the  third  year  of  his  charge. 

The  following  scrap  was  given  to  the;  writer  before;  1850,  l)y  the 
Hev.  1).  B.  Stout,  pastor  at  Middletown:  "At  the  yearly  meeting, 
May  24th,  1712,  agreed  to  submit  to  (he  judgment  of  our  friends  come 


from  I'liiladclpliia  ;m<l  wlicth.T  Ihr.  procccdiiijiis  MKainsl,  .loliii  Okisoii 
lijith  boon  regular,  acH-ordinj!;  to  tlic  iiicrils  of  tlu;  case,  or  not.  As  also  to 
give  their  opinion,  what  may  Ix;  propcsr  to  Ixs  doiu;,  ns  to  his  continuing 
to  teach.  If  they  find  the  proceedings  against  him  irregular  and  that, 
;iH  to  all  other  differences  which  rehit(!S  to  tiie  church,  shall  forever 
be  buried.  And  also,  what  shall  l)e  laid  Ixiforc^  them  and  determined 
by  them,  it  is  mutually  agreed  to  be  goveriKul  by." 

This  paper  indicates  in  part  the  trouble  of  1712  and  expresses  the 
spirit  of  the  church,  to  bury  forever  all  allusion  to  the  action  about  Mr. 
Okison.  The  Council  advised  the  church  to  bury  all  fornu^r  disputes 
anil  to  erase  all  record  of  them.  The  church  did  so.  'I'he  (iarly  leaves 
of  the  minute  book  were  torn  out  and  we  have  lost  the  early  records  of 
the  church. 

The  writer  has  another  paper,  taken  from  the  minutes  of  the 
Court.  An  index  of  the  times  and  of  the  laws  which  hindere<l  and  hurt 
Baptists: — "Court  of  Sessions  begun  and  held  at  Shr(!WHbury  for  tli<' 
county  of  Monmouth  on  the  third  Tuesday  in  September,  Anno 
Dom.  1707.  Whereas  Mr.  John  Bray,  minister  of  the  Baptists  of  the 
county  of  Monmouth  mad(!  application  to  the  ('ourt  of  Sessions,  held 
last  March,  that  he  might  be  [)ermitted  to  (|ualify  himself  as  the  law  di- 
rects in  the  behalf  and  the  Court  then  ordcsnsd  tin;  further  consid(!ration 
thereof  should  be  refernul  and  now  said  John  Bray  appearing  in  open 
sessions,  being  pnjsented  by  stjveral  of  said  congregation,  viz:  Lawrence, 
John  Garret  Wall,  Jacob  Troax,  Jr.,  James  Bolen,  in  behalf  of  themselves 
and  the  rest  of  their  brethren,  and  accordingly  the  said  John  Bray  had 
qualified  liimself  as  the  law  in  the  case  directs,  viz. :  he  did  take  the  oath 
made  in  a  statute,  made  in  the  first  year  of  their  Majesti(!S  reign,  entitl- 
ed an  act  for  removing  and  prev(;ntitig  all  disputes  concerning  the  as- 
sembly of  that  I'arliament  and  did  make  and  sul)scribe  th(i  declaration 
mentioiKHl  in  the  statute  made  in  the  thirtieth  year  of  the  reign  of  King 
Charles,  II,  entithid  an  act  to  prevent  Papists  from  sitting  in  either 
houses  of  Parliament  and  also  did  declare  his  approbation  of  and  did 
subscribe  the  articlc!s  of  religion  mentioned  in  the  statute  made  in  the 
thirtieth  year  of  the  reign  of  the  late  Queen  Elizabeth,  except  the  34,35, 
30  and  those  words  of  the  20th  article,  viz.:  the  church  hath  full  power 
to  decree  rites  and  ceremonies  and  authority  in  matters  of  faith  and  that 
part  of  the  27th  article  concerning  infant  baptism,  all  of  which  are  en- 
tered on  record.  According  to  the  direction  of  another  act  of  Parliament 
entitled,  an  act  for  exempting  her  Majesties  Protestant  subjects,  dis- 
senting from  the  church  of  iMiglaiid  from  the  penalty  of  certain  laws." 

This  extract  of  the  doings  of  the  court  indicates  that  in  the  colonies 
religion  was  legal  and  illegal.     Preachers  must  appear  in  Court  and  have, 


its  authority  to  exercise  their  office.  Quite  different  from  Baptist  ideas 
of  one's  liberties.  Another  question  is  settled,  as  to  when  John  Bray 
became  a  minister  of  the  Gospel  and  who  licensed  him.  Five  houses 
of  worship  were  built  within  the  bounds  of  the  old  church  up  to  1737, 
and  two  parsonages  at  Holmdel;  one,  a  house  of  worship  and  a 
parsonage,  soon  after  the  settlement.  It  fronted  on  the  road  from 
Holmdel  to  Colt's  Neck,  about  two  hundred  yards  distant  from  the 
parsonage,  built  in  1825.  The  third  was  built  by  John  Bray  in  1705, 
and  was  his  gift  with  five  acres  of  land  to  the  church.  Two  were 
built  in  Upper  Freehold,  "The  Yellow  Meeting  House"  and  another 
twelve  miles  distant  from  the  first:  The  fifth  in  Middletown  village 
in  1732.  Then  the  "Town  Hall"  that  had  been  a  place  of  worship 
for  Baptists  was  deserted.  These  were  maintained  as  Baptist  nuclei 
by  pastors  of  Middletown  church,  to  which  they  were  more  conven- 
iently located,  in  the  parsonages  at  Holmdel,  than  they  could  be 
elsewhere.  This  arrangement  continued  until  churches  were  organized 
in  these  distant  localities  and  till  Mr.  Bennett  settled  in  1792,  who 
lived  on  his  farm  in  Marlboro. 

Abel  Morgan  lived  on  his  farm  opposite  to  Red  Bank  and  Mr.  Ash- 
ton  on  his  farm,  near  Matawan.  Mr  Roberts  lived  in  the  parsonage  at 
Holmdel  till  1826  when  he  bought  a  farm  and  moved  on  it.  Abel 
Morgan  may  have  lived  in  the  first  parsonage.  Other  pastors  lived 
at  Holmdel,  the  center  of  the  church.  Instead  of  organizing  the  second 
Middletown  church  (now  Holmdel)  in  1836;  had  the  church  divided, 
Holmdel  would  have  retained  its  place  in  age  and  dignity.  Both 
of  these  bodies  are  designated  in  tlie  church  records  as  branches  of  the 
original  church.  That  at  Baptisttown,  known  as  the  "Upper  Meeting- 
house." and  the  congregation,  as  "The  Upper  Congregation;"  and  that 
of  Middletown  Village,  as  the  "Lower  Meeting-house,"  and  the  congre- 
gation, as  "The  Lower  Congregation."  These  congregations  were  ab- 
solutely one;  sharmg  equally  in  the  responsibilities  and  privileges  of  the 
Church.  At  Baptisttown  there  was  a  very  certain  proportion  of  social 
and  financial  strength,  as  well  as  of  spiritual  power.  Reference  to  .some 
of  these  men,  the  founders  of  our  religious  freedom,  is  necessary  to  the 
completeness  of  this  sketch. 

The  business  of  the  Church  seems  to  have  been  transacted  as  now 
in  country  Churches,  "at  the  meeting  before  communion,"  indiscrim- 
inately at  either  house. 

We  read  in  June,  1713,  "at  our  yearly  meeting  in  Middletown."  In 
August,  1732,  "appointed  a  quarterly  meeting  in  Middleto^vm."  Aug- 
ust, 1753,  the  entry  is  "Middletown,  at  the  Upper  Meeting-house;" 
and  in  the  next  month,  "at  the  above  said  meeting-house."     In  1736, 


probably  to  avoid  confusion,  it  was  decided  to  hold  a  "yearly  meeting 
for  business  in  the  old  Meeting-house,  near  John  Bray's." 

We  find  no  reference  to  a  change  of  this  order.  Yet  fifty  years 
later,  in  1788,  it  appears  that  a  change  had  been  made;  the  Commun- 
ion services  before  that  date  having  been  held  for  six  months  consecu- 
tively in  each  place. 

Then,  however,  it  was  ordered  "that  the  meetings  should  be  in 
rotation  in  their  seasons  at  each  meeting  house."  This  arrangement 
continued  until  the  division  of  the  church  in  1836. 

The  records  of  these  early  days,  now  exciting  a  smile  by  their 
quaintness  of  speech  or  style;  and  now,  as  the  tenderness  and  strength 
of  Christian  character  crops  out,  stirring  the  deepest  sensibilities  of  the 
soul,  indicate  the  type  of  men  and  women — their  stern  integrity,  their 
constancy,  their  conscientious  piety,  their  sense  of  propriety  and  fitness 
in  the  things  of  the  Lord's  house.  They  illumine  their  times,  agitated 
by  the  same  questions  and  matters  of  concernment  as  ripple  ours — 
handled,  however,  with  a  decision  and  positiveness  that  would  sadly 
hurt  the  "poor"  feelings  of  some  who  prate  much  of  "liberty." 

They  had  convictions  which  they  cared  to  maintain.  In  March, 
1787,  a  member  asked  a  letter  of  dismissal  to  join  a  Seventh  Day  Bap- 
tist Church,  and  the  record  adds  significantly,  "But  there  was  no  an- 
swer given." 

A  member,  in  1788,  became  a  "Universalist,"  and  it  was  ordered 
that  he  be  "ex-communicated  on  Sunday,  in  public  at  Bray's  meeting- 
house." It  is  recorded  in  1790,  that  a  brother  took  his  letter  from  Upper 
Freehold  and  joined  Middletown  church,  because  the  "former  totally 
omitted  the  laying  on  of  hands  after  baptism  and  before  receiving  into 
the  Church,  in  full  communion."  The  brethren  seem  to  have  held  them- 
selves in  pledge  for  one  another,  as  instanced  in  the  record  of  January, 
1787,  where  it  is  said:     "All  the  members  signed  a  letter  of  dismission." 

Care  for  the  decencies  of  the  Lord's  house  was  characteristic  of  the 
Church.  In  1780,  it  was  moved  "that  the  suit  of  clothing  belonging  to 
the  said  Church  for  the  use  of  the  minister  to  perform  the  ordinance  of 
Baptism  in,  was  almost  worn  out;  and  not  being  decent  for  said  purposes 
any  longer,  ordered  the  purchase  of  firsting  for  a  new  suit."  Cleanli- 
ness of  the  sanctuary  as  well  as  decency  in  the  official  apparel  of  the 
sanctuarj^  as  well  as  decency  in  the  official  apparel  of  the  minister  was 
provided  for;  and  the  duties  of  the  sexton  differed  somewhat  from  now. 
In  1792,  £1  12s.  was  paid  Deborah  Van  Cleaf,  for  taking  care  of  the 
house  and  sanding  the  same." 

The  pews  of  the  "Upper  House,"  at  least,  seem  by  the  authority  of 
Church  to  have  been  held  in  individual  right.     John  Stillwell,  the  Church 


Clerk,  reported  to  the  Church  that  Hope  Burrows,  the  widow  and  ex- 
ecutrix of  John  Burrows,  deceased,  gave  him  their  pew  in  "The  Upper 
Meeting-house;"  whereupon,  the  "Church  agreed  that  he  have  the  same 
pew  under  the  said  gift,  with  doing  some  repairs  on  the  window  at  the 
end  of  said  seat." 

The  frequent  resignation  of  the  deacons  when  incapacitated  for 
active  duty,  leads  to  the  conclusion  that  they  esteemed  the  office  more 
one  of  work,  than  of  honor  and  for  life. 

In  1805,  the  use  of  their  meeting  houses  was  forbidden  "for  any 

These  people  were  certainly  not  seriously  befogged  in  their  ideas 
of  church  duties;  rights  and  decencies;  nor  of  the  uses  of  the  office  in 
the  house  of  God;  nor  of  the  irresponsibility  for  the  doctrine  that  might 
be  preached  from  their  pulpits;  nor  of  the  limits  and  liberties  of  Chris- 
tian duty  and   privilege. 

This  entry  is  in  the  register:  "Dec,  1791,  Crawford's  Jack,  de- 
parted this  life."  That  no  contempt  of  Africa's  sons  is  designed,  an- 
other entry  in  1796,  by  the  same  hand  evidences:  "Died — Samuel,  a 
black  man,  an  example  of  real  piety.  He  hath  been  a  member  of  this 
church  for  near  forty  years,  without  ever  a  complaint  or  the  least 
accusation  him  from  any  person  in  the  smallest  degree."  A 
memorial  fitting  to  be  written  on  the  same  page  with  that  of  Abel 
Morgan,  found  in  the  same  book. 

Very  rarely  indeed  do  we  meet  such  histories  as  these. 

Under  date  of  October,  1785,  "agreed,  that  there  should  be  a  man 
hired  at  the  expense  of  said  Church  members,  for  one,  two  or  three 
months,  as  occasion  may  require,  for  the  benefit  and  service  of  the  Rev. 
Mr.  Abel  Morgan  in  his  infirm  and  low  state  of  body;  and  the  expense  of 
wages  for  the  hire  of  said  man  so  employed  shall  be  levied  on  each  mem- 
ber, according  to  their  estates." 

The  next  January  (1786)  Abel  Morgan,  their  late  pastor,  being 
dead,  the  following  minute  is  entered: — "Some  repairs  on  the  dwelling 
house  of  the  late  Abel  Morgan  not  yet  paid  for:  agreed,  that  each  member 
shall  be  assessed  according  to  their  estates  to  pay  the  said  costs."  A 
memorial  act,  both  of  the  Church  and  of  the  man,  grander  and  more 
enduring  than  granite  or  iron. 

Forty  years  later,  in  January,  1826,  an  act  of  justice  and  appre- 
ciation was  performed  to  their  living  pastor,  Thomas  Roberts,  quite  in 
harmony  with  that  done  in  behalf  of  their  dead  pastor.  The  sum  of 
$300,  besides  the  parsonage  and  his  fuel,  being  stated  as  the  salary 
pledged  to  Mr.  Roberts  for  the  year,  the  record  continues: — "Now  be 
it  known,  being  satisfied  that  the  money  subscribed  was  intended  by 


those  who  subscribed,  for  the  said  Thomas  Roberts,  and  there  being 
tile  past  year  paid  to  him  by  the  trustees  of  said  Church,  the  sum  of 
$355.69,  it  is,  therefore,  considered  as  his  do  (due)  for  his  service  for  the 
year  ending  January  1st,  1826."  A  like  appreciation  of  pastors,  and 
award  to  them  of  their  "do,"  would  diffuse  an  immense  enjoyment  in 
the  Zion  of  God,  and  bear  fruit  in  great  and  precious  blessings  upon 
her  borders. 

Of  the  residence  of  the  pastors  it  is  merely  a  supposition  that  Mr. 
Burrows  and  Abel  Morgan  occupied  for  a  while  the  first  parsonage  at 
the  "Upper  Meeting-house."  Samuel  Morgan  was  the  last  pastor  who 
resided  in  it.  Mr.  Hand  lived  in  the  Academy  in  Baptisttown,  and 
taught  the  school  there. 

Mr.  Elliot  was  the  first  occupant  of  the  new  parsonage,  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1818.  The  church  of  which  Mr.  Elliot  had  been  pastor,  object- 
ed to  his  coming  to  Middletown,  that  he  would  have  to  live  "in  a  house 
with  mud  walls."  He  came,  however,  landing  at  Brown's  Point,  and 
he  made  his  home  with  Daniel  Ketchum,  near  Baptisttown,  until  the 
parsonage  was  made  habitable.  Mr.  King  also  lived  in  it.  Mr.  Roberts 
resided  in  it  until  1826,  when  having  bought  a  "place"  north  and  east 
of  the  village  of  Middletown  removed  there. 

A  striking  illustration  of  the  pastor's  personal  influence  in  the  neigh- 
borhood of  his  residence,  and  the  bearing  of  his  location  upon  the  growth 
of  the  Church,  is  afforded  in  these  records. 

So  far  as  I  can  determine,  the  locality  of  those  who  were  added  to 
the  Church  under  Samuel  Morgan's  ministry,  excepting  the  additions 
from  Long  Branch,  a  large  proportion  were  in  the  vicinity  of  his  resi- 
dence. Of  the  nineteen  received  by  Mr.  Elliot,  fifteen  were  baptized  at 
the  "Upper  House."  Thirty  were  added  during  Mr.  King's  oversight 
of  whom  twenty-two  were  baptized  at  the  "Upper  House." 
The  growth  of  the  Church  within  the  limits  of  the  "Upper 
Congregation"  was  very  marked  down  to  1826,  when  Pastor 
Roberts  removed  to  his  own  home  in  "The  Lower  Congregation." 
The  increase  of  the  Church  during  the  last  ten  years  of  his  ministry  in 
the  communities  in  the  midst  of  which  he  lived,  manifests  the  power  of 
the  pastor's  personal  contact  with  the  people  about  him.  It  i  a 
significant  memorial  of  the  man,  and  satisfactory  explanation  of  the 
greater  numerical  strength  of  "The  Lower  Congregation,"  at  the 
division  of  the  Church. 

John  Bray  was  a  resident  and  property  owner  in  1688,  the  reputed 
year  of  the  organization  of  the  Church.  Mr.  Bray  came  from  England. 
One  of  his  descendants,  Richard  Bray,  has  a  deed  of  1688,  of  land  to  him, 
a  part  of  the  "Lawrence  tract."      He  (John  Bray)  bought  a  part  of  the 


Holmes  tract,  lived  and  died  upon  it,  having  given  the  land  on  which 
the  Church  and  parsonage  are.  The  Church  minutes  speak  of  him  as  a 
"man  of  gifts."  He  was  a  preacher,  but  we  do  not  know  that  he  was  or- 
dained; evidently  an  earnest  man,  he  took  a  deep  and  active  interest  in 
the  welfare  of  Zion. 

To  him  we  are  indebted  for  the  property  in  Holmdel — parsonage, 
meeting-house  and  burial  grounds. 

The  grounds  at  Holmdel,  including  the  parsonage  and  house  of 
worship  and  burial  ground,  contain  four  and  one-third  acres,  and  were 
the  gift  of  John  Bray,  already  spoken  of.* 

Obadiah  Bowne  and  fJaret  Wall  in  a  deed  of  acknowledge- 
ment of  trust,  dated  December  18,  1705,  address  themselves  to  "all 
Christian  people,"  and  declare  "  'that  John  Bray  and  Susanna,  his  wife, 
on  December  14,  1705,  on  mere  special  trust  and  confidence,  for  the  onl}' 
use,  benefits  and  behoofs  of  the  society,  community  or  congregation 
called  Baptists,"  gave,  &c.,  describing  the  property;  and  further 
bind  themselves  to  convey  the  property  to  the  Church,  when  it  shall 
have  a  legal  existence.  Not  incorporated  until  December,  1793,  the 
title  was  thus  held  for  88  years.  The  original  deed  of  trust  is  now  in  the 
keeping  of  the  Trustees,  and  is  the  oldest  deed  held  by  any  Baptist 
Church  in  the  States.  This  land,  since  bought  from  the  Duke  of  York, 
has  been  owned  by  Baptists. 

A  house  of  wor.ship  and  parsonage  were  built  contemporaneously 
alongside  of  each  other  on  the  southwest  corner  of  this  property,  imme- 
diately adjoining  the  burial  grounds  of  the  Bray  family  and  of  the 
Church. t     By  whom,  and  when,  erected  the  Church  record  is  silent. 

The  buildings  were  put  up  prior  to  1705.  The  Baptist  families  in 
the  vicinity  probably  contributed  to  their  erection.  From  the  little 
known  of  John  Bray,  he  is  supposed  to  have  had  considerable  force  of 
character  as  well  as  to  have  been  large-hearted.  We  incline  to  the 
opinion  that  he  bore  the  brunt  of  the  cost  of  these  buildings;  from  the 
fact  that  the  Meeting-house  was  for  many  years  known  as  the  "Bray 
Meeting-house."     In  1735,  it  is  referred  to  in  the  Church  book  as  "The 

*Morgaii  Edwards,  in  his  "Materials  for  the  History  of  the  Baptist  Churches 
in  New  Jersey,"  states  "that  the  ground  was  partly  given  by  John  Bray  and  partly 
by  Obadiah  and  Jouiillian  Miihnes."  This  is  a  mistake.  Obadiah  and  Jonathan 
Holmes  did  not  come  inin  i.(.>.-i>>icin  of  their  father's  lands  until  after  his  decease 
in  1713,  eight  years  sub.-cqiHiit  to  the  date  of  the  deed  given  by  John  Bray.  Their 
father  may  have  added  to  the  Church  lot  and  probably  did. 

tAneestor  of  the  late  U.  S.  Senator  GaiTet  Wall,  of  New  Jersey.  Jarct,  the 
original  of  Garret. 

JThe  great-erandson,  of  Holmdel  Church,  tells  me  that  John  Bray  built  both 
chureli  and  i.iuscmage.  This  was  certainly  the  first  Baptist  parsonage  in  New 
Jersey,  and  I  feel  cjuile  sure,  the  first  meeting  house  built  by  Baptists  for  their  own 
use.  Tiaditiiiii  says  the  first  house  at  Middletown  was  built  for  town  purposes, 
and  the  Cliureh  used  it.    This  was  the  case  of  Piscataway. 


Old  Meeting  -House  near  John  Bray's."  Some  who  worshipped  in  that 
built  at  Middletown,  have  left  word  that  they  "were  as  much  alike  as 
two  peas."  "The  Old  Bray  Meeting-house  was  probably  the  model  of 
the    other. 

At  a  Church  meeting,  September  18th,  1794,  Mr.  Bennet,  pastor, 
"A  subscription  was  ordered  for  a  new  meeting-house  on  Bray's  lot." 
No  further  mention  is  made  of  how  much,  or  by  whom,  or  by  what  means 
the  funds  were  secured  for  this  object.  Fifteen  years  elapsed,  years 
of  trials  and  of  constancy,  when,  October  29th,  1809,  having  worship- 
ped in  the  old  house  more  than  a  century,  the  minutes  read:  The  first 
Communion  Season  was  held  in  the  new  meeting-house  on  Bray's  lot." 
This  was  a  dedicatory  service.  Beside  the  pastor,  Mr.  Bennet,  Pastors 
Wilson,  of  Hightstown,  and  Boggs,  of  Hopewell,  and  Bishop,  of  "Upper 
Freehold"  were  present.  Mr.  Wilson,  who,  twenty-four  years  before 
had  preached  the  funeral  sermon  of  Abel  Morgan,  and,  two  days  after, 
the  ordination  sermon  of  Samuel  Morgan,  and  who  was  also  one  of  the 
two  ministers  at  the  ordination  of  Mr.  Bennet,  preached  on  Lord's 
Day  morning,  from  Psalm  cxxxii:  15;  Mr.  Boggs,  in  the  afternoon,  from 
Exodus  XX :  24.  On  Monday,  Mr.  Wilson  and  Mr.  Boggs  each  preach- 
ed again.  The  house  was  thirty-six  feet  by  forty-five.  It  has  since 
undergone  enlargements  and  improvements.  Many  interesting  asso- 
ciations belong  to  the  old  sanctuary.  Here,  July,  1792,  the  Trustees 
were  in.structed  to  obtain  an  act  of  incorporation;  and,  at  the  same  meet- 
ing, Mr.  Bennet  was  called  to  ordination,  "as  a  transient  minister,"  not 
pastor,  as  is  graven  upon  his  tombstone.  Six  months  later  he  was  in- 
vested with  the  pastor's  office.  Mr.  Bennet  never  was  a  member  of  the 
Middletown  church. 

An  entry  in  July,  1816,  reads:  "Appointed  John  Beers  to  superin- 
tend the  building  of  a  house  on  the  meeting-house  lot  of  the  upper  house, 
commonly  called  the  Bray  Meeting-house,  of  the  size  of  twenty-five  feet 
square,  two  stories  high — no  ceiling  overhead  and  the  same  John  Beers 
to  proceed  in  the  business  so  far  as  the  money  raised  will  go."  The  same 
house  is  still  the  parsonage  of  the  Holmdel  Church-,  1886.  Like  the  house 
of  worship  by  which  it  stands,  it  has  been  improved  and  enlarged  at  vari- 
ous times;  but  we  know  not  at  what  expense  or  how  provided  for,  ex- 
cept that  in  1819,  the  Trustees  ordered  money  at  interest  to  be  called 
in  to  pay  the  balance  due  on  the  building.  A  room  was  prepared  in 
the  house  for  the  library  of  Abel  Morgan,  to  which  by  vote  of  the  Church, 
in  June,  1818,  it  was  ordered  to  be  removed. 

Elliot,  King,  Roberts,  Hires,  Nice,  Mulford  and  Wilson  have  succes- 
sively occupied  as  a  study  this  "prophet's  room  over  against  the  wall." 
Prior  to  the  separation  of  the  church  into  two  bands,  in  1836,  she  owned 


no  other  parsonage  Mr.  Bennet  alone,  of  all  the  pastors  since  1705,  is 
known  not  to  have  lived  in  either  the  first  or  second  parsonage.  A  wood 
lot  of  twenty-two  acres  was  bought  by  "The  Upper  Congregation,"  for 
uses  of  the  Church,  in  1825.  Thenceforth,  beside  his  salary  in  money, 
the  pastor  received  the  parsonage,  and  "his  fuel  carted  to  his  door." 
Up  to  the  present  settlement  this  has  continued  to  be  "the  portion"  of 
the  Holmdel  pastors.  When  "The  Upper  Congregation"  was  organized 
into  "The  Second  Middletown  Church,"  this  property,  really  theirs  by 
gift  and  purchase  of  themselves,  and  which,  for  so  man}'  generations, 
they  had  freely  given  for  the  use  of  the  whole  Church,  they  bought  for 

"The  Upper  Congregation,"  thus  providing  the  parsonage,  a  house 
of  worship,  wood-lot,  and  incomes  which,  for  a  hundred  years,  made  it 
possible  to  obtain  and  support  with  ease  an  able  ministry,  none  would 
suppose  it  to  be  the  same  place  and  people  which  the  sketch  of  First 
Middletown,  in  1867,  refers  to,  in  the  statement  that  the  house  built 
on  Bray's  lot,  in  1808,  was  a  "preaching  station."  With  more 
propriety  was  the  village  of  Middletown  "a  preaching  station"  visited 
by  the  pastors  for  one  hundred  years,  on  alternate  Sabbaths. 

The  Church  was  equally  identified  with  both  places  in  every  par- 
ticular of  worship,  ordinances  and  business  meetings.  The  Middletown 
Church  was  not  that  body  which  met  in  the  village  of  Middleton,  but 
that  which  held  its  assemblies  in  the  township  from  which  it  was  named.* 

Of  the  pastors  who  have  died  within  the  bounds  of  the  Church,  two, 
Abel  Morgan,  and  Thomas  Roberts,  are  buried  at  Middletown.  Two, 
Samuel  Morgan  and  Benjamin  Bennet,  are  buried  at  Holmdel.  Sam- 
uel Morgan,  after  his  resignation,  lived  and  died  (1794)  about  a  mile 
from  the  "Upper  Meeting-house."       Mr.  Bennet  died  October  8th,  1840. 

It  has  been  said  that  this  is  a  mistake:  that  Holmdel  is  a  poetic 
name  given  at  a  town  meeting,  when  a  name  was  chosen  for  the  Post 
Office.  But  I  am  informed  by  the  oldest  residents  that  Holmdel  was  a 
familiar  and  popular  name,  used  interchangeably  with  Baptisttown 
long  before  that  meeting. 

Stout  tract  is  identified  as  part  of  the  Hendrickson  and  Longstreet 
farms,  near  Holmdel.  Penelope  Stout  is  believed  to  have  been  buried 
in  an  old  grave  yard  nearly  one  hundred  yards  south  of  the  residence  of 
the  late  John  S.  Hendrickson. 

*Middletown  was  probably  named  b)'  the  Holmes'.  They  had  come  from 
Middletown,  Rhode  Island,  where  the  homestead  farm  of  the  first  Obadiah  was, 
and  which  Jonathan,  his  son,  inherited  by  his  father's  will.  The  homestead  iu 
Khode  Island  has  only  very  lately  passed  out  of  the  family. 


The  farm  on  which  tlie  venerable  James  Crawford  now  lives  was 
the  homestead  of  Ohadiah  Bonne,  passing  by  marriage  into  the  Craw- 
ford family. 

Ancestor  of  Deacon  G.  Mott,  First  C'hurch,  Trenton,  and  father 
of  Gen.  Mott,  of  Bordentown. 

A  minister  and  ancestor  of  Ashton,  the  first  Baptist  in  Upper 

In  1713,  Rev.  John  Burrows,  of  Pennsylvania,  became  pastor,  ac- 
cepting the  advice  of  the  Council  of  the  former  year  and  signed  the  Keach 
"articles  of  faith  and  covenant."  Rev.  George  Eaglesfield  followed  in 
1731.  Allusion  is  made  to  his  death,  1733.  Five  years  later,  1738, 
Abel  Morgan  settled  as  pastor,  remaining  till  his  death,  November 
24th,  1785,  forty-seven  years.  He  was  abundant  in  labors;  traveling 
far  and  wide  and  devoted  himself  untiringly  to  the  great  field  under 
his  care. 

The  American  revolution  occurred  in  his  pastorate.  His  meeting- 
house was  used  by  the  English  for  barracks  or  for  a  hospital.  He  states 
in  his  diary:  While  the  house  of  worship  was  in  their  use,  "I  preached 
at  Middletown  in  mine  own  barn,  because  the  enemy  had  took  out  all 
the  seats  in  the  meeting-house."  "At  Middletown"  meant  on  his  farm 
opposite  Red  Bank,  the  river  being  the  boundary  between  Middletown 
and  Shrewsbury.  Mr.  Morgan  did  not  keep  account  of  the  number 
of  sennons  he  had  preached,  nor  a  record  of  how  many  he  had  baptized. 
His  diary  notes  more  than  forty  places  in  which  he  preached.  Mr. 
Morgan  bequeathed  his  library  of  three  hundred  volumes  to  the 
Church  for  the  use  of  his  successors.  The  big  volumes  were  printed 
in  Latin  and  his  marginal  notes  showed  that  the  books  had  been 
well  read.  His  manuscript  preparations  of  sermons,  each  numbered 
and  dated,  were  ten  thousand  were  also  given  to  the  Church.  By  its 
order,  a  room  was  prepared  in  the  parsonage  at  "The  Upper  Meet- 
ing-house" (Holmdel).  But  in  1837  Pastor  Stout  found  what  was 
left  of  them  in  the  garret  of  the  house  of  a  member  of  another 
denomination.  When  Pastor  Roberts  moved  from  the  parsonage  to 
his  farm,  the  volumes  were  taken  from  their  proper  place,  but 
whereto  is  not  known.  The  remains  of  the  library  are  now  in 
Peddie  Institute  library.  Some  of  the  books  are  very  old:  One, 
an  edition  of  Cicero's  works,  was  printed  in  1574;  John  Calvin's 
works,  were  printed  at  Geneva  in  1617.  On  a  flyleaf  in  Mr.  Morgan's 
writing  are  these  lines: 


"Prayer  contains  in  its  several  parts: 
"Call  upon  God,  and  love,  confess, 
'Petition,   plead   and   then   declare; 
'You  are  the  Lord's,  give  thanks  and  bless, 
"And  let  Amen,  confirm  ye  prayer." 

A  contemporary  styled  Abel  Morgan:  "The  incomparable  Abel 
xMorgan,"  as  the  Rev.  Mr.  Finley,  President  of  Princeton  College,  found 
out  to  his  sorrow.  Alike  as  missionary  and  workman,  his  wisdom  and 
piety  are  memorials  of  a  noble  life  and  of  noble  accomplishments  for 
God  and  humanity.  He  was  of  the  same  class  in  activity  as  Benjamin 
Miller,  Isaac  Stelle,  Peter  Wilson,  Robert  Kelsay  and  in  scholarship 
equal  ;o  any  one.  Providentially  contemporary  with  Abel  Morgan's 
settlement  in  1738,  at  Middletown,  was  the  death  of  Jonathan  Holmes, 
Jr.,  son  of  Jonathan  Holmes,  of  Middletown,  now  Holmdel,  a  grand- 
son of  Obadiah  Holmes,  of  precious  memory.  He  was  a  minister, 
whether  ordained  or  not  is  not  written.  Having  settled  his  affairs  and 
made  his  will,  he  visited  the  home  of  his  fathers  in  England,  in  1737. 
On  the  return  voyage,  he  died  at  sea,  1738.  He  bequeathed  £400  to 
the  Church,  a  great  sum  in  those  days.  Samuel  Holmes,  James  Tap- 
scott,  and  Jamas  Mott  were  his  executors.  The  carefulness  and  integ- 
rity of  these  men  and  of  their  successors  usually  acting  trustees  of  the 
Church  up  to  its  incorporation  as  is  shown  by  its  records,  is  the  highest 
memorial  of  their  Christian  character  and  commends  them  to  us  as  men 
whose  memory  is  worth  keeping. 

■It  was  loaned  to  Abel  Morgan  and  he  was  enabled  to  live  in  his  own 
house-  It  was  repaid  in  the  settlement  of  his  estate.  Samuel  Morgan 
had  the  use  of  it,  returning  it  when  he  resigned.  It  was  husbanded 
and  used  to  ensure  the  labors  of  Mr.  Bennett  for  twenty-two  years.  In 
1881,  it  was  diverted  from  the  support  of  the  pastor,  and  part  of  it 
appropriated  to  complete  the  parsonage  at  "The  Upper  Meeting 
House."  The  balance,  we  imagine,  was  invested  in  the  houses  of 
worship  now  in  use  in  Holmdel  and  in  the  village  of  Middletown. 
Let  the  memory  of  Jonathan  Holmes  and  John  Bray  be  cherished. 
Their  works  remain  a  blessing  to  the  generations  of  men. 

It  has  been  a  question  how,  through  the  fluctuations  and  poverty  of 
a  new  country,  the  wreck  of  all  financial  interests  in  the  Revolution, 
Middletown,  a  small  country  Church,  could  command  for  its  pulpit  and 
retain  in  long  pastorates,  the  best  gifts  of  the  denomination.  The  gift 
of  Church  properties  and  parsonage,  and  the  use  of  the  legacy  of  Jona- 
than Holmes,  Jr.,  solve  the  problem. 

Abel  Morgan  was  succeeded  by  his  nephew,  Samuel  Morgan.  De- 
spite the  calamities  under  which  the  country  was  suffering  at  the  close 


of  the  Revolution,  his  ministry  was  as  fruitful  as  was  anticipated  and 
for  diligence,  all  that  could  be  rightfully  asked.  He  kept  up  all  the  ap- 
pointments of  the  Church  and  sustained  its  usefulness  and  dignity  in 
the  six  years  of  his  service,  dying  in  1794,  two  years  after  his  re- 

In  1792,  Mr.  Benjamin  Bennett  was  called  to  be  the  pastor  and  was 
ordained  as  a  "transient  minister."  He  was  a  good  preacher  and  an 
enterprising  farmer.  He  first  used  marl  as  a  fertilizer.  Limiting  him- 
self to  Holmdel  and  Middleto\VTi  village,  he  gave  up  the  out  stations. 
Had  he  followed  up  the  work  of  Abel  and  Samuel  Morgan,  we  would 
have  had  a  large  Church  at  Long  Branch.  There  were  many  Baptists 
there  and  in  other  places  within  his  reach.  He  had  the  opportunity  of 
his  life  for  God  and  humanity.  It  would  have  cost,  however,  self  deni- 
als. The  roads  were  "bridle  paths"  through  the  haunts  of  wild  beasts 
and  Indians.  A  settler's  home  might  not  be  seen  from  morning  to  night. 
The  loneliness  of  these  long  rides  and  the  liability  to  suffer  harm  far  from 
help,  gives  to  us  an  appreciation  of  the  men  and  of  their  services,  who 
laid  the  foundations  of  our  denominational  growth,  and  of  our  attain- 
ment, in  education,  numbers  and  social  place  equal  to  any  other  Chris- 
tian people.  About  1815,  Mr.  Bennett  dropped  into  politics,  was  elected 
to  Congress  and  that  closed  up  his  pastorate  and  his  preaching. 

During  an  intermission  in  the  pastorate,  Mr.  Hand,  a  licentiate, 
principal  of  the  Holmdel  Academy  "supplied"  the  Church  for  several 
years,  most  acceptably  until,  in  1818,  when  Mr.  Elliot  became  pastor. 
The  Church  of  which  Mr.  Elliot  was  pastor  when  called  to  Middletown, 
objected  to  his  going  to  Holmdel:  "That  he  would  have  to  live  in  a 
house  with  mud  walls,"  the  new  parsonage.  Mr.  Elliot  was  a  desirable 
pastor  to  the  people  with  whom  he  was.  They  believed  him  worthy  of 
the  best  things.  Mr.  Elliot  proved  to  be  an  efficient  pastor;  a  man  who 
could  see  and  value  a  good  thing.  He  found  at  Holmdel  a  Sunday- 
school,  which  Mrs.  A.  B.  Taylor  had  formed  in  her  own  house  in  1815. 
She  was  a  member  of  the  Middletown  church  of  tlje  "Upper  Congrega- 
tion." Mr.  Elliot  at  once  started  a  Sunday-school  in  the  church  edifice 
at  Holmdel.  Fuller  account  of  Mrs.  Ann  B.  Taylor  and  her  work  in 
the  missions  and  Sunday-schools  will  be  found  in  chapters  on  Bible 
Schools  and  Missions. 

How  long  Mr.  Elliot  was  pastor  is  not  clear.  A  Mr.  King  followed 
him,  remaining  about  three  years  and  disappeared  mid  two  days; 
a  bad  man.  There  was  a  great  contrast  between  him  and  Rev. 
Thomas  Roberts  who  settled  in  1825  and  after  a  pastorate  of  twelve 
years,  resigned,  in  1837.  Mr.  Roberts  was  a  good  preacher,  as  well 
as  a  wise  man.     Several  of  his  sermons  were  demanded  for  publi- 


cation.     The  fruits  of  his  ministry  were  large  and  of  abiding  vahie. 

Increase  of  population  and  of  the  congregations,  and  the  demand 
for  more  ministerial  labor  in  the  bounds  of  the  Church,  had  prior  to 
1834,  led  to  the  inquiry:  How  to  meet  the  increasing  claims  of  the 
field?  A  separation  into  two  bands  was  an  unwelcome  subject.  The 
breaking  of  ties  that  had  been  entwining  for  fifty  years  was  to  some  un- 
endurable. The  fearful  saw  ruin  in  separation.  It  was  doubtful  to 
the  pastor  if  the  time  had  come  when  two  Churches  could  be  sustained 
and  occupy  the  field  as  well  as  the  undivided  body.  Discussion 
ripened  into  action  in  the  fall  of  1834,  when  an  invitation  was  sent  to 
Rev.  D.  B.  Stout,  settled  at  Lambertville,  to  visit  the  Church,  with  a 
view  of  becoming  joint  pastor  with  Mr.  Roberts.  He  came.  The  way 
was  not  yet  fully  prepared,  and  he  returned  home.  Early  in  1836,  the 
Church  sent  a  request  to  Rev.  Wm.  D.  Hires,  residing  at  South  Trenton, 
to  visit  them.  Having  done  so  in  due  time,  he  accepted  their  call  to  a 
joint  pastorate  with  Mr.  Roberts. 

After  six  months,  "The  Lower  Congregation"  worshiping 
in  "The  Lower  House,"  in  the  village  of  Middletown,  and  "The 
Upper  Congregation"  taking  the  title  of  "Second  Middletown," 
was  recognized  as  an  independent  Church,  September  1st,  1836, 
by  a  Council  consisting  of  Pastors  Roberts,  and  Hires,  of  Middle- 
town;  C.  J.  Hopkins,  of  Freehold,  and  J.  M.  Challis,  of  Upper 

Mr.  Roberts  remained  with  "The  Lower  Congregation,"  in  the 
midst  of  which  he  lived.  Mr.  Hires  retained  the  oversight  of  "The  Up- 
per," amid  which  he  resided,  receiving  the  same  salary  as  had  been  paid 
by  the  whole  body  to  Mr.  Roberts. 

Mr.  Roberts  had  left  the  parsonage  open  for  Mr.  Hires;  this,  prob- 
ably, decided  the  location  of  the  pastors.  Mr.  Roberts,  knowing  whence 
the  support  of  the  pastor  came,  gave  another  instance  of  self  denial 
and  real  piety.  Had  the  old  Church  divided,  the  historical  truth  of 
Middletown  Church  ^ould  have  been  preserved  in  its  true  relationship 
and  the  names  of  the  constituency  of  Middletown  would  not  have 
been  found  outside  of  itself,  mainly  in  Holmdel  and  Upper  Freehold 
and  in  Hopewell. 

Upon  the  resignation  of  Mr.  Roberts,  "The  Lower  Congregation" 
called  Rev.  D.  B.  Stout  and  he  began  his  charge  in  1837.  Mr.  Stout  had 
already  been  impressed  with  antinomian  ideas,  but  new  relations  modi- 
fied his  views,  being  a  man  open  to  convictions.  These  came  to  him 
through  Rev.  F.  Ketchum,  an  eminent  evangelist  of  his  times,  through 
whose  co-operative  labors.  Pastor  Stout  baptized  in  one  year  two 
hundred  and  thirty-six.     Mr.  Stout  was  a  loveable  man,  unassuming, 


genial,  amialilc  and  a  preacher  of  righteousness.  Not.  having  had 
scholastic  training,  he  did  not  make  any  pretense  to  it.  His  in- 
fluence was  wholesome,  having  what  is  better  than  brains  or  education, 
"good  sound  common  sense."  Being  human,  he  had  faults  and  made 
mistakes.  Mr.  Stout  was  born  at  Hopewell  in  1810,  a  place  identified 
with  the  names  of  Eaton,  Manning,  Gano,  and  Hezekiah  Smith.  Pas- 
tor Stout  was  a  descendant  of  Richard  Stout.  In  a  ministry  of  forty- 
three  years,  he  had  two  settlements:  Lambertville,  of  which  liis 
father  was  a  deacon  and  for  years  its  only  male  member;  where  Mr. 
Stout  had  lived  from  early  youth,  been  baptized,  licensed,  ordained  as 
pastor,  which  he  was  for  five  years.  Thence  going  to  Middletown, 
where  he  was  pastor  thirty-eight  years  till  his  death  on  May  17th, 
1875.  He  was  a  constituent  of  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  State  Conven- 
tion and  a  member  of  its  Board  from  its  origin,  till  he  died  forty-five 
years,  a  longer  time  than  any  other  had  been.  Four  Churches  were  col- 
onised from  Middletown  where  he  was  pastor.  He  was  buried  in  the 
church  yard,  where  Mr.  Roberts  had  been  and  to  which  Abel  Morgan's 
remains  were  removed  in  1888.  His  successors  have  been  E.  J.  Foote, 
1876-82;  the  first  pastor  who  lived  in  Middletown  village,  a  new  parson- 
age being  built  there  in  1876;  Rev.  F.  A.  Douglass,  1883-6;  Rev.  E.  E. 
Jones,    1887-92. 

Under  Mr.  Jones,  sheds  were  provided  for  the  beasts,  which  brought 
the  people  to  the  house  of  God  and  he  also  had  a  baptistry  put  in  the 
house  of  worship  and  for  the  first  time  in  more  than  two  hundred  years 
the  ordinance  of  baptism  was  administered  in  the  village.  In  1893, 
Rev.  W.  H.  J.  Parker  became  pastor  and  ministered  ten  years  to  the 
Church,  till  1904. 

"The  Upper  Congregation"  had  a  large  place  in  Baptist  beginnings 
in  New  Jersey.  The  first  Baptist  Sunday-school  in  the  State  was  begun 
there  and  all  missionary  societies  and  nearly  all  the  contributions  abroad 
came  from  that  quarter.  "The  Lower  Congregation"  was  solicited 
from  there.  The  writer  has  the  original  subscription  books  and  Sunday- 
school  reports  given  to  him  by  Mrs.  Ann  B.  Tajdor  in  her  eightieth 
year  for  safe  keeping.  They  will  be  given  to  her  grandson,  Prof.  B. 
Taylor,  of  Crozer  Seminary.  Mrs.  Taylor  said  to  the  writer:  the  lady 
solicitor  would  walk  from  their  homes  nine  to  twelve  miles  to  "The 
Lower  Congregation"  to  collect  funds  for  the  use  of  the  society.  The 
spirit  of  missions  imbued  "The  Upper  Congregation."  One  woman, 
Mrs.  Ann  B.  Taylor,  must  be  referred  to  as  especially  devoted  to  these 
causes.  They  appointed  a  committee  in  1787  to  collect  moneys  to  aid 
"the  Church  on  Staten  Island  in  building  a  meeting-house.  Twenty- 
seven  years  prior  to  the  I  irth  of  the  Home  Mission  Society,  funds  were 


collected  for  'Home  Missions  and  Education.'  "  A  female  benevolent 
society,  formed  in  1825,  in  "The  Upper  Congregation."  collected  moneys 
for  the  destitute  from  its  origin  till  it  ceased  to  be,  in  184.5.  Through 
it,  the  convention  has  received  funds  from  its  beginning,  six  years  be- 
fore it  resolved  itself  into  the  Second  Middletown  Church.  It  appro- 
priated $5.00  to  the  "Young  Men's  Education  Society"  in  New  Jersey, 
before  the  "New  Jersey  Baptist  Education  Society"  was  formed. 

Foreign  Missions  were  also  annually  contributed  to  for  many  years 
prior  to  the  separation  of  the  Church  in  1836.  Each  year  since  the 
Church  has  contributed  to  the  State  Convention.  The  first  gift  was 
twenty  dollars,  and  never  after  less.  Without  exception,  it  has  also 
given  annually  to  Foreign  Missions,  beginning  with  five  dollars  and 
increasing  to  nearly  three  hundred  dollars  in  one  year.  Since  18-15,  it 
has  an  unbroken  annual  credit  for  Home  Missions  and  Bible  purposes. 
Feeble  Churches  have  ever  shared  in  its  sympathies.  From  the 
first,  the  school  at  Hightstown  has  had  a  large  place  in  the  heart 
of  the  Church,  to  which  it  has  given  many  thousands  of  dollars. 

Mrs.  Taylor  organized  and  maintained  a  Woman's  Mission  Society 
to  buy  books  for  the  Sunday-schools,  to  clothe  needy  children  of  de- 
pendent parents.  The  society  sent  money  to  India,  through  the  Eng- 
lish Baptist  Mission  Society  before  1800.  After  Mr.  Elliot  resigned, 
living  on  her  farm  two  miles  from  Holmdel,  she  walked  to  the  meeting- 
house, superintended  the  Sunday-school  there,  returned  home  to  take 
charge  of  the  Sunday-school  at  home.  Some  facts  illustrate  the  char- 
acter of  Mrs.  Taylor:  She  always  paid  her  pew  rent  a  year  in  advance, 
saying,  "She  might  die  at  any  time  and  she  wanted  to  be  sure  that  her 
pew  rent  was  paid  the  year  in  which  she  died."  She  died  in  1879, 
eighty-three  years  old.  Times  were  set  for  benevolent  collections  on  the 
Lord's  day.  If  the  collection  on  such  a  day  was  delayed,  Mrs,  Taylor 
always  made  her  way  to  the  pastor:  "To-day  was  the  time  for  such  a 
collection;  you  have  not  forgotten  it?  No?  Well,  don't!"  Clusters 
of  members  lived  at  several  localities  and  had  unique  ways  of  getting  to 
the  house  of  prayer.  The  women  had  a  custom  of  ride  and  walk.  A 
mother  and  daughter,  two  sisters,  or  neighbors,  would  arrange  for  one 
to  ride  on  a  horse  to  a  given  place  and  there  hitch  the  horse  and  walk 
on  to  another  set  place  and  wait.  The  other  having  walked  to  the 
horse,  from  thence  rode  on  to  the  one  waiting  and  thus  on,  it  might 
be  to  the  house  of  worship,  distant  from  their  home,  perhaps,  ten  or 
more  miles.  A  key  to  this  consciousness  of  the  blessedness  of  divine 
truth,  was  the  preaching. 

The  preacher  had  much  to  say  of  the  grace  of  God,  of  a  free  and 
undeserved  salvation;  of  being  "kept  by  the  power  of  God  through  faith 


unto  salvation."  The  "meat"  in  the  sermon  was  nourishing,  or,  if  it 
lacked  the  pith  of  "Divine  Sovereignty,"  it  was  emptiness  to  one  who 
who  had  walked  two  days,  or  had  journeyed,  "ride  and  walk,"  for 
twenty  miles  to  reach  the  house  of  God.  The  experience  of  these 
disciples  was,  as  in  the  early  ages,  the  Bible,  universally  essential  to 
an  uplift  of  person  and  nation. 

Tlie  Rev.  Mr.  Roberts  was  an  earnest  and  staunch  temperance  man 
and  "The  Upper  Congregation"  was  in  hearty  sympathy  with  him. 
The  earliest  remembered  public  discussion  of  temperance  in  "The  Upper 
Congregation,"  was  a  sermon  by  Pastor  Roberts,  about  1834,  from  the 
text:  "I  speak  as  unto  wise  men,  judge  ye  what  I  say."  The  discourse 
made  a  deep  impression  upon  the  community;  many  accepted  the  doc- 
trine of  total  abstinence,  some  of  whom  now  living,  1881,  refer  to  it 
as  the  means  of  their  giving  up  the  use  of  intoxicating  drinks  as  a 
beverage.  A  positive  temperance  sentiment  was  at  this  time  devel- 
oped, which,  nurtured  by  Pastor  Hires,  ripened  into  Church  action  in 
1839,  when  "Total  abstinence  from  intoxicating  drinks  as  a  beverage 
was  declared  to  be  a  Christian  duty." 

Why  did  not  Pastor  Roberts  preach  a  like  sermon  in  the  "Lower 
Congregation?"  Had  he  done  so,  it  would  have  destroyed  the  influence 
for  good  on  the  very  lines  on  which  he  hoped  to  secure  reform.  "The 
Lower  Congregation"  was  allied  with  the  political  influences  of  the  day 
and  less  responsive  to  the  then  called  "radical  temperance  movement. 
Later  both  the  Navesink  and  the  New  Monmouth  churches  were  com- 
posed of  a  temperance  element,  not  at  home  in  the  mother  church  and 
on  this  account  under  the  influence  of  Mr.  Roberts  and  Mr.  W.  V.  Wil- 
son went  out."  "The  Upper  and  "The  Lower  Congregations"  were 
extremely  unlike  and  this  may  have  reconciled  them  to  the  division  in 
1836  and  hurried  Pastor  Roberts'  resignation  the  next  year.  The  un- 
likeness  of  these  branches  of  the  same  Church  was  partly  due  to  the 
dignity  of  ancestral  names  in  the  "Upper  Congregation"  and  to  the  ac- 
cumulation of  wealth  by  succeeding  generations.  It  is  a  surprise  that 
the  division  had  not  occurred  when  Abel  Morgan  became  pastor  in  1738. 

Pastor  Hires  resigned  in  1846,  having  been  pastor  of  the  Second 
Middletown  Church  ten  years.  There  is  not  a  known  reason  for 
his  sudden  and  unexpected  resignation.  His  charge  was  a  continuous 
success.  He  was  a  rare  preacher  for  conciseness  and  strength.  Few 
equalled  him  in  his  capacity  to  inspire  people  and  to  train  them  for  use- 
fulness. His  going  away  was  a  great  loss  to  the  Church.  The  "bent" 
he  gave  to  it  for  temperance,  missions  and  education  is  still  manifest. 
He  grounded  his  people  in  fundamental  truth.  God  a  sovereign;  man  a 
sinner  and  lost;  Christ  the  only  Saviour;  men  saved  to  glorify  God  and 


to  be  co-workers  with  and  for  him.  Mr.  Gobel,  the  anti-nomian  once 
invaded  his  fold.     His  coming  and  his  flight  were  contemporary. 

Rev.  Wilham  J.  Nice  followed  Mr.  Hires  in  1848,  remaining  three 
years  and  as  much  to  the  surprise  and  regret  of  the  Church  he  gave  up 
his  charge,  as  had  Mr.  Hires,  and  left  at  once.  It  is  believed  that  the 
same  cause  led  Mr.  Nice  to  resign  as  had  influenced  Mr.  Hires  to  leave. 
Mr.  Nice  was  one  of  the  most  modest  and  lovely  of  men.  He  was 
intensely  conscientious  and  wholly  devoted  to  his  Master,  a  choice 
spirit  and  one  to  be  leaned  upon.  Rev.  C.  W.  Mulford  was  pastor 
for  two  years,  but  his  impaired  health  compelled  him  to  close 
his  labors. 

One  of  the  choicest  of  men,  Rev.  C.  E.  Wilson,  became  pastor  and 
for  nearly  sixteen  years  ministered  to  the  Church.  Universally  beloved 
the  good  man  laid  down  and  died.  While  pastor,  the  house  of  worship 
was  enlarged  to  double  its  former  capacity.  Large  congregations  wait- 
ed on  the  labors  of  this  true  man  of  God  and  he  had  a  remarkably 
successful  pastorate. 

After  Mr.  Wilson,  came  Rev.  T.  S.  Griffiths,  settling  in  April  1870- 
The  following  extract  at  the  end  of  ten  years,  instances  some  results 
of  the  ten  years'  work:  The  financial  and  benevolent  departments 
of  the  Church  have  very  marked  characteristics.  A  debt  that  had  ac- 
cumulated in  1870  to  $4,000  has  been  paid;  also  repairs,  since  then, 
costing  $1,400.  The  annual  home  expenditures  of  the  last  ten  years  has 
been  nearly  double  that  of  former  years,  averaging  $2,120  each  year, 
and  aggregating  $21,200.00  The  annual  average  benevolence  of  the 
Church  for  the  first  thirty-three  years  of  its  existence  was  $205.62, 
and  for  the  whole  period  $6785.56.  In  the  last  ten  years,  the 
benevolence  of  the  Church  has  aggregated  $12,241.95,  an  annual 
average  of  $1,224.19.  The  whole  amount  paid  for  home  and  foreign 
interests  since  1870  has  been  $33,441.95,  an  annual  average  of 
$3,344.10.     Mr.   Griffiths  removed  in  September,  1881. 

Rev.  W.  W.  Case  settled  in  December  next,  1881.  While  Mr  Case 
was  pastor,  a  new  parsonage  was  built,  but  there  was  not,  as  in  the  old 
one,  a  room  reserved  for  Abel  Morgan's  library;  also  a  chapel  was  built 
for  social  and  Sunday-school  uses.  The  Church  edifice  was  remodeled 
within  and  without  at  a  cost  of  many  thousands  of  dollars.  The  house 
of  worship  will  accommodate  about  half  as  many  as  it  did  before  the 
alterations  were  made  in  1887-1894. 

Holmdel  is  a  rural  settlement  and  has  neither  factories  nor 
railroad  connections;  withal  the  country  is  filling  up  with  foreign- 
ers,  whose   "faith"    and   associations   are   alien   to   the   old   settlers. 


Endowments,  however,  by  some  of  the  old  families,  descendants 
of  the  original  constituents  relieved  anxiety  for  its  future  support. 
Mr"  Case's  charge  continued  nearly  twelve  years. 

In  189-4,  Rev.  R.  B.  Fisher  became  pastor  and  is  now  (1904)  pastor. 
There  has  not  been  need  of  improvement  in  the  properties  of  the  Church 
since  Mr.  Case  resigned.  Several  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach. 
The  Church  claims  in  part  the  maternity  of  Churches.  Cohansie  and 
Hopewell  went  out  of  "The  Upper  Congregation." 

Not  many  Churches  are  paralleled  with  the  old  Church  in  the  number 
of  its  off-shoots.  Through  Obadiah  Holmes,  Jr.,  a  constituent,  Cohan- 
sie and  its  outgrowth;  through  Jonathan  Stout,  another  constituent, 
First  Hopewell,  Hunterdon,  Warren  and  Sussex  counties  were  planted 
with  Baptist  Churches.  Hightstown  also  and  Upper  Freehold  have 
multiplied  many  fold.  So  that  as  many  as  one  hundred  and  seven 
Baptist  Churches  have  sprung  from  this  oldest  Baptist  Church  South  of 
Rhode  Island.  Mr.  Hires  had  regular  appointments  at  Keyport,  Mata- 
wan  and  Marlboro.  The  constituency  of  Red  Bank  also  was  increased 
fi'om  Holmdel.  Under  Pastor  Griffiths,  both  Marlboro  and  Eatontown 
were  each  saved  from  extinction. 

Other  influences  for  good  have  gone  out  to  New  York  State,  and  to 
the  far  South  from  the  venerable  Church.  The  first  Baptist  school  in 
America,  was  at  Hopewell,  where  her  sons  and  those  of  other  Churches 
were  educated  for  the  ministry.  James  Manning,  John  Gano,  Hezekiah 
Smith,  the  Suttons  and  many  others  for  eminent  places  in  judicial  and 
political  life  must  be  included  as  one  gift  of  the  old  Church  to  Baptists 
and  to  the  world. 

Holmdel,  hedged  in  by  seven  Baptist  Churches,  only  one  of 
which  is  nine  miles  distant,  its  field  is  limited,  but  it  had  a  distinctive 
constituency  and  their  descendants  are  as  characteristic  as  was  their 
ancestry.  Allusion  to  the  Holmes  family  has  been  already  made;  an- 
other family  by  the  name  of  Longstreet  gave  strength  to  the  Church. 
The  mother,  Mary  Holmes,  was  a  near  descendant  of  Obadiah  Holmes, 
Sr.  She  left  a  legacy  to  "Peddie  Institute."  Each  of  her  children  liv- 
ing at  home  did  the  same.  Some  of  them  endowed  the  Holmdel  Church. 
Jonathan  and  Mary,  Jr.,  built  and  endowed  the  Longstreet  library 
building  at  Peddie  Institute.  The  Holmdel  Baptists  were  an  influen- 
tial people,  having  the  endowments  of  heart,  character  and  wealth. 
Pastor  Hires  at  Holmdel  after  the  division  of  the  Church,  received  the 
same  salary  as  the  whole  Church  had  given  to  Mr.  Roberts.  Many 
Anglo-African's  lived  there  and  they  included  some  of  the  nobility 
of  the  earth.  They  would  come  to  the  parsonage  on  Monday 
morning    and    say:       "I    hear    that    a    collection    for    missions    wag 


taken  yesterday.  I  could  not  be  there;  here  is  what  I  would 
have  given  if  present,  add  it  to  the  other." 

A  family  of  Ely's  located  at  Holmdel  at  an  early  day.  The  father, 
though  of  an  opposite  political  party  to  a  majority  of  thousands  in  the 
county,  was  elected  to  the  most  important  office  in  the  county  on  ac- 
count of  his  personal  worth.  Removing  to  Holmdel,  leaving  his  eldest 
son  on  the  homestead  farm,  who  under  the  same  conditions  as  his  father 
was  also  elected  to  the  same  office  and  for  the  same  reason,  his  pre- 
eminent worth  as  a  citizen  and  a  man.  Of  six  sons  four  were  deacons: 
One  at  Freehold,  three  at  Holmdel  and  also  the  husband  of  an  only 
daughter.  The  mother  of  these  sons  was  a  remarkable  woman.  Henry, 
a  son,  told  to  his  pastor  this  incident  of  his  childhood:  On  Lord's 
day  morning  his  mother  said  to  him:  "Go  and  get  ready  for  Church." 
He  replied:  "I  can't  go  to  Church  to-day."  "AVhy  not?"  "My  shoes 
are  worn  out."  "Why  did  you  not  tell  me  that  yesterday?  Now,  you 
shall  go  to  Church  bare  foot."  He  did.  And  he  said  to  his  pastor: 
"Ever  afterwards  mother  knew  of  worn  out  shoes  and  anything  else 
needful  to  wear  to  Church."  Such  a  woman  was  of  the  same  type 
as  Mrs.  Taylor.     Mrs.  Taylor's  only  son  was  a  deacon. 

Said  a  neighbor  to  whom  religion  was  an  offense,  to  the  same  pastor: 
"If  I  had  a  million  of  dollars  I  would  put  it  in  William  Ely's  hands  to 
keep  for  me  nor  ask  for  a  "note"  or  a  scrap  of  acknowledgment  from 
him;  sure  that  when  I  wanted  it  I  would  get  it."  Henry  could  not  be 
drafted  in  the  Civil  War  because  of  the  loss  of  an  eye.  He  said  to  his 
pastor:  "Then,  I  employed  a  "substitute"  for  six  hundred  dollars 
for  a  year.  At  its  end,  he  said  to  himself:  'I  can  spare  six  hun- 
dred dollars  for  my  country,  why  can  I  not  spare  that  extra  each 
year  for  Christ?  I  can  and  will'  "  And  he  was  a  plain  farmer.  He  did 
this  till  he  died.  His  benevolent  gifts  were  quite  a  thousand  dollars 
each  year.  His  death  was  glorious.  O,  for  a  vast  increase  of  such  moth- 
ers and  such  sons.  Middletown  Church  has  been  the  mother  of  more 
than  one  hundred  Churches  not  only  in  New  Jersey,  but  in  Pennsyl- 
vania, New  York  and  in  the  South. 


COHANSIE,  1690,  SALEM  IN  1755. 

Cohansie  is  the  name  of  a  river  that  designates  its  vicinity.  When, 
in  1683,  the  first  Baptists  came  from  Clouketin,  Tipperay  county,  Ire- 
land, they  settled  on  the  South  side  of  the  river  and  built  a  meeting  house 
on  the  farm  of  David  Thomas  (a  Welsh  name).  The  names  of  these 
Baptists  were :  David  Sheppard,  Thomas  Sheppard  and  John  Sheppard 
(brothers) ;  Morgan  Edwards  also  mentions  Thomas  Abbot  and  William 
Button.  About  1700,  they  moved  to  the  North  side  of  the  river  and 
built  a  house  of  worship,  about  2  miles  south  of  RhoadstowTi.  Morgan 
Edwards  states  part  of  the  lot  was  a  gift  of  Roger  Maul  and  the  "deed," 
dated  December  28th,  1713,  and  part  the  gift  of  Nathan  Sheppard,  his 
"deed"  is  dated  February  6th,  1779.  Morgan  Edwards  further  says: 
"\  house  of  worship  was  built  in  1741,  on  the  site  of  the  old  house." 

The  Dutch  West  India  Company  was  an  enterprising  corporation. 
In  1621,  Captain  May  sailed  into  the  Delaware  bay  with  emigrants, 
Quakers,  Swedes  and  Hollanders,  these  landed  at  various  points  on  both 
sides  of  the  river.  Mixtures  of  population  from  different  nations  of 
Europe  were  peculiar  to  the  Middle  Eastern  States.  New  England 
and  Virginia  alone  having  positive  relation  to  English  population. 
Irish  Baptists  had  no  more  liberty  than  in  England,  Scotland  or  on 
the  continent.  Wherever  they  appeared,  their  presence  was  a  reason 
for  their  persecution,  whether  by  Protestants  or  Roman  Catholics. 
Kingcraft  and  hierarchies  hated  democracy  and  the  integrity  of  the 
men  and  women  who  maintained  their  convictions  and  won  for 
humanity  the  right  to  think  and  to  do  what  was  right,  out  of  these 
will  be  recogrtized  as  having  accomplished  more  for  human  welfare 
and  for  the  independency  of  mankind,  than  all  or  any  other 
humanitarian  movement  in  the  world.  It  will  be  known  that  the 
Divine  Christ  was  essentially  interwoven  in  their  thought  and  purpose 
of  living.  Their  persecutions  will  be  seen  to  be  the  scaffolding  by  which 
they  have  lifted  the  rights  of  men  to  the  topmost  place  in  government, 
and  by  which  they  have  climbed  to  the  endearment  of  the  Divine  love. 
Our  bread  had  been  an  aversion,  but  for  the  "little  leaven"  of  which  it 
gave  no  sign.  The  hewed  waters,  leaking  from  the  cracks  of  rocks,  waste 
away,  yet  they  index  the  ores  hidden  from  sight.  Thus  character  that 
modifies  nations  is  life  or  death  to  humanity.     Are  a  record  names  of 


constituents  of  churches,  .'ind  some  scarcely  note,  that  such  a  record 
memoralizes  a  birth  hour  of  unspeakable  interests. 

The  early  records  of  Cohansie  church  are  lost,  but  wc  are  indebted 
to  the  researches  of  Morgan  Edward  and  of  Robert  Kelsay  to  fill 
the  gap.  Obadiah  Holmes,  Jr.,  the  youngest  son  of  Obadiah  Holmes, 
Sr.,  the  Massachusetts  Baptist  martyr  with  another  Baptist,  visited 
Cohansie  in  1683-5.  He  was  now  about  forty  years  old,  having 
been  born  in  Salem,  Mass.,  in  1644.  His  father  was  a  member  of 
the  Congregational  Church  there  and  its  record  states:  Obadiah 
Holmes,  Jr.,  was  christened  (sprinkled)  on  Jime  9th,  1644.  Mr. 
Holmes,  Jr.,  was  only  licensed.  He  gathered  the  Baptists  together, 
maintained  meetings  and  souls  w^ere  converted.  Inasmuch,  as  he 
had  been  appointed  a  Judge  of  the  Courts  he  may  have  lived  in 
Salem.  He  sent  for  Rev.  Elias  Keach,  of  Penepack,  Pa.,  in  1688,  to 
baptise  the  converts.  He  came  and  baptized  three  men.  This 
good  news  went  to  Holmdel.  "The  yearly  meetings  between  Middle- 
town  and  Piscataway  were  in  progress  and  Mr.  Killingsworth,  of  Piscat- 
away  visited  Cohansie.  Other  Baptists  moved  there:  One,  John 
Holmes,  the  second  son  of  Obadiah,  Sr.,  and  brother  to  Obadiah, 
Jr.,  John  Holmes  had  been  a  Judge  in  the  Philadelphia  Courts.  He 
settled  at  Alloway  and  Baptists  increased  to  nine  men.  Of  these  the 
Cohansie  Church  was  constituted."  Middletown,  Piscataway  and  Co- 
hansie are  the  sole  Baptist  Churches  formed  in  New  Jersey  in  which  only 
men  are  named  as  constituents. 

Rev.  Thomas  Killingsworth  became  pastor  of  Cohansie  at  its  organ- 
ization. His  coming  was  providential.  He  was  pastor  nineteen  years 
and  was  beloved  by  his  people  and  the  community.  He  was  a  mission- 
ary pastor  going  far  and  wide,  gathering  Baptists  into  the  several 
centers  as  at  Salem.  Succeeding  pastors  continued  on  these  lines. 
Especially  Mr.  Jenkins,  until  about  two  years  before  his  death  in  1754 
at  the  age  of  seventy-six  years.  In  the  meantime,  a  meeting  house 
had  been  built  at  Mill  Hollow,  two  miles  from  Salem  towards  Alloway, 
to  where  Judge  Holmes  had  moved  from  Philadelphia.  A  church  at 
Alloway  was  formed  in  1741.  The  Mill  Hollow  house  was  in  part  to 
accommodate  this  Church.  Later  the  Alloway  Church  disbanded.  As 
Mr.  Jenkins  lost  his  health,  Mr.  Job  Sheppard  and  Robert  Kelsay  licen- 
tiates of  Cohansie,  looked  after  the  out  stations.  Mr.  Sheppard  having 
moved  to  Alloway  took  care  of  that  section.  Mr.  Kelsay,  living  at 
Pittsgrove,  cared  for  that  region.  Rev.  R.  Kelsay  later  pastor  at 
Cohansie,  gathered  data  of  the  early  history  of  the  Church  and  put  it 
in  shape  for  our  information.  While,  as  already  indicated,  Obadiah 
Holmes,  Jr.,  was  the  first  Baptist  minister  hereabouts  and  a  Judge 


in  the  Courts,  he  kept  up  his  ministerial  labors,  for  the  coming  pastor. 
Mr.  Killingsworth's  arrival  was  providential.  He  died  while  pastor 
in  1708.  His  was  the  work  of  a  missionary  pastor,  going  far  and 
wide  gathering  Baptists  into  centers,  as  at  Salem. 

It  is  not  a  surprise  that  Baptists  were  chosen  Judges,  since  a  large 
majority  of  the  residents  of  Salem  county  were  "Friends"  (Quakers). 
Between  them  and  Baptists  was  a  kindly  feeling,  acquired  in  their 
sufferings  to  keep  an  open  Bible,  a  free  conscience  and  equality  before 
the  law.  The  "Friends"  knew  that  they  were  safe  with  Baptist 

In  1710,  Rev  Timothy  Brooks  accepted  the  pastorate.  Morgan 
Edwards  gives  the  history  of  this  arrangement  as  written  by  Pastor 
Kelsay:  "In  1710,  Rev.  Timothy  Brooks  and  his  followers  xmited  with 
this  Church.  They  had  come  from  Ma.ssachusetts  about  1687  and  for 
twenty-three  years  kept  a  separate  society  on  account  of  difference  of 
opinion  touching  predestination,  singing  psalms,  laying  on  of  hands,  etc. 
Rev.  V.  Whitman,  of  Groton,  Conn.,  effected  the  union.  Its  terms 
were:  Bearance  and  Forbearance."  Pastor  Brooks,  Mr.  Kelsay  writes 
was  not  eminent  for  parts  or  learning,  yet  was  a  useful  preacher;  meek 
in  his  carriage;  of  a  sweet  and  loving  temper  and  always  open  to  con- 
viction and  made  the  Welsh  mini.sters  labor  to  instruct  him  in  the  "ways 
of  the  Lord  more  perfectly."  Mr.  Brooks  died  in  1716,  having  won  the 
love  of  both  flocks,  who  were  heartily  united  in  him. 

During  nearly  five  years  "supplies"  preached.  In  1721 ,  Mr.  William 
Butcher  was  ordained  for  the  pastorate.  Death  limited  his  service  to 
about  three  years.  He  died  in  December,  1724,  at  the  age  of  twenty-six 
years.  He  was  a  "good  minister  of  the  Gospel."  For  the  next  six  years 
Rev.  Nathaniel  Jenkins,  pastor  of  first  Cape  May  church,  preached  once 
a  month  at  Cohansie.  Resigning  at  Cape  May,  in  1730,  he  became 
pastor  at  Cohansie.  Mr.  Jenkins  was  an  eminent  man  and  commanded  a 
high  place  in  both  ministerial  and  governmental  life.  He  had  a  gift  of 
"bringing  things  to  pass,"  as  many  Welsh  men  do  by  their  forceful  en- 
ergy. The  Church  grew  along  all  lines.  Preaching  stations  were  plant- 
ed at  Salem,  Dividing  Creek,  Pittsgrove,  Alloway  and  Great  Eggharbor. 
A  new  Church  edifice  was  built.  Job  Sheppard,  the  first  pastor  at  Salem, 
Robert  Kelsay,  the  first  pastor  at  Pittsgrove,  and  afterwards  pastor  at 
Cohansie  for  thirty  three  years,  succeeded  Mr.  Jenkins.  Each  were 
licensed  to  preach  at  Cohansie.  Mr.  Jenkins  served  the  Church  till 
1754,  when  he  died.  Few  ministers  in  New  Jersey  accomplished  more 
for  God  and  humanity,  both  in  the  Legislature  and  in  the  ministry, 
than  Pastor  Jenkins.  In  his  last  illness,  he  advised  the  members  to 
choose  Mr.  Kelsay  to  follow  him,  and  after  Mr.  Jenkins  died  they  did  so 


immediately.  But  Mr.  Kolsay  objected  to  leaving  Pittsgrove.  He  also 
thought  that  his  friend,  Mr.  J0I3  Sheppard,  was  the  right  one  to  follow 
Mr.  Jenkins.  It  was  interesting  to  note  the  contention  of  Mr.  Sheppard 
and  Mr.  Kelsay  as  to  which  one  of  them  should  take  the  mother  Church. 
Each  wanted  the  other  to  enter  this  foremost  place. 

There  was  a  Providence,  however,  which  over-ruled  the  matter. 
Mr.  Sheppard  had  become  pastor  at  Salem  and  was  wanted  there.  Mr. 
Kelsay's  home  in  Pittsgrove  had  been  burned  up.  Then  Cohansie  re- 
newed the  call  with  emphasis  and  Mr.  Kelsay  consented  and  began  his 
charge  in  May,  1756.  He  was  a  native  of  Ireland  and  came  to  Cohansie 
in  1738,  was  baptized  in  1741,  licensed  in  1743,  settled  at  Pittsgrove,  a 
branch  of  Cohansie,  preached  there  twelve  years  and  was  ordained  in 
1750.  A  contemporary  said  of  him:  "As  a  man  and  companion,  he 
was  amusing  and  instructive.  As  a  Christian  he  was  exemplary  and 
animated;  as  a  preacher,  he  was  ferv'ent  and  truly  orthodox.  Warmly 
engaged  was  he  in  the  service  of  the  saiictuary,  to  which  he  repaired 
without  interruption  till  a  few  days  previous  to  his  death."  Mr.  Kelsay 
had  the  genial  qualities  of  the  Irish,  to  which  was  added  fervent  piety 
and  great  earnestness  in  his  ministry.  He  was  a  man  of  order  and  set 
himself  to  make  up  deficiencies.  A  later  pastor  says  of  him:  "the 
early  records  of  the  Church  being  lost,  the  first  register  of  which  we  have 
any  knowledge  was  commenced  by  him  in  1757.  It  is  a  large  folio  bound 
in  parchment  and  contains  the  earliest  statistics  extant.  Everything 
pertaining  to  the  general  record  of  the  Church  was  kept  with 
scrupulous  exactness." 

With  respect  to  the  results  of  his  ministry,  the  Church  has  great 
reason  for  devout  thankfulness.  The  membership  in  the  first  decade 
increased  from  one  hundred  and  six  to  one  hundred  and  thirty-one, 
despite  deaths,  removals  and  a  colony  to  form  Dividing  Creek 
Church  in  1761.  In  the  second  decade,  although  the  membership 
had  decreased,  another  colony  formed  the  Pittsgrove  Church.  A 
third  decade  included  the  Revolutionary  War.  Every  hallowed 
influence  was  over  borne  by  the  desolation  of  homes  and  lands.  The 
colony  being  a  highway  of  the  contending  armies  and  the  harbors 
being  a  refuge  of  English  fleets,  its  seacoast  and  rivers  were  patrolled 
by  warships  to  destroy  the  commerce.  Special  seasons  of  grace 
wereenjoyed,  however,  in  1781  and  1782,  in  which  sixty-eight  disciples 
were  baptized.  A  memorial  of  Mr.  Kelsay  is  found  in  the  minutes  of  the 
Philadelphia  Association.  He  preached  at  its  session  in  1788  to 
young  ministers  from  Acts  8:  35.  He  advised  them:  I.  To  study 
with  earnest  prayer  as  if  it  all  depended  upon  their  own  endeavors;  but  in 
preaching  to  depend  on  Divine  assistance  as  though  they  had  not  studied 


at  all.  II.  To  be  concise  in  preaching  and  to  conclude  when  done, 
III.  To  pray  for  a  blessing  immediately  after  preaching."  Good  ad- 
vise to  preachers  young  or  old.  Especially  these  days  when  so  much 
emphasis  is  laid  upon  an  educated  ministry.  Mr.  Kelsay  was  seventy- 
seven  years  old  when  he  preached  the  sermon  spoken  of.  Next  year  on 
May  30th,  1789,  he  died,  having  been  pastor  of  Cohansie  Church  thirty- 
three  years  and,  if  Pitt.?grove  is  included,  spent  his  whole  ministry,  forty- 
five  years  among  his  own  people. 

The  same  Providence  that  hitherto  had  directed  this  people  in  the 
choice  of  a  pastor  for  them,  influenced  them  to  call  Henry  Smalley,  of 
Piscataway,  who  entered  on  his  work  on  July  3,  1790,  and  was  ordained 
the  next  November.  Mr.  Smalley  had  but  lately  graduated  from  col- 
lege. From  the  first,  a  uniform  and  continuous  prosperitj'  attended  the 
pastoral  charge  of  Mr.  Smalley.  There  was  also  an  intelligent  and  re- 
sponsive spirit  of  enterprise  in  the  Church.  A  new  house  of  worship 
in  a  more  central  location  was  needed.  The  site  on  which  the  Church 
edifice  now  stands  was  bought  in  1799  and  the  house  of  worship  now  in 
use  was  dedicated  in  1802.  Internal  changes  and  adaption  to  modern 
ideas  have  been  made.  But  the  substantial  structure,  its  neat  and 
fitting  architectural  proportions  signify  intelligence  in  its  original  plan- 
ning and  a  staunch  and  cultured  piety  that  preferred  the  larger  cost  to 
the  inferior  and  its  economical  tendencies.  Various  Christian  activities 
indicated  the  accord  of  pastor  and  people  in  all  movements  for  the  ex- 
tension of  the  Kingdom  of  God.  When  the  New  Jersey  association  was 
formed  in  1811,  a  Baptist  mission  society  for  State  missions  was  estab- 
lished.      In  1812,  its  income  was  $195.73,  of  this  Cohansie  gave  $87.22. 

On  the  eve  of  the  War  of  1812,  a  Church  edifice  in  Bridgeton  was 
proposed,  which  was  completed  in  1817.  This  house  in  size  and  style 
was  befitting  a  town  developing  into  a  city  and  a  Church,  whose  age  and 
social  standing  and  pastoral  strength  gave  it  a  fore-most  place  in  that 
section.  Pastor  Smalley  preached  in  this  house  on  each  Lord's  day, 
laying  the  foundations  of  the  First  Church  of  Bridgeton.  At  the  organ- 
ization of  that  Church  this  property  was  given  to  them.  Pastor  Smalley 
in  1838  was  seventy-three  years  old  and  being  consulted  on  the  subject 
he  consented  to  an  assistant  pastor.  The  pastor's  choice  for  the  man 
was  approved. 

About  this  time,  the  Church  built  a  meeting  house  at  Greenwich, 
an  out-station.  This  house  was  not  completed  until  in  a  later  pastorate. 
Mr.  Smalley's  work  on  earth  was  shortening  and  on  February  11th,  1839, 
it  pleased  God  to  call  him  up  higher,  in  the  seventy-fourth  year  of  his 
age.  Having  been  pastor  at  Cohansie  almost  forty-nine  years.  The 
second  longest  Baptist  pastorate  in  New  Jersey.     Two  colonies  to  or- 


c;anizo  Churches  left  Cohansie  dnrinjr  Mr.  Smalley's  pastorate,  one  at 
liridgeton,  in  1828;  another  to  unite  with  members  of  Salem  Church, 
to  form  a  Church  at  Canton.  Under  Mr.  Smalley ,  five  hundred  were  bap- 
tized. He  also  was  the  sixth  and  the  last  of  the  old  pastors  to  close  his 
pastorate  at  death.  There  were  but  three  years  in  his  long  charge  in 
which  there  were  no  baptisms.  It  is  wonderful  that  six  pastors  succeed- 
ing each  other  had  each  long  pastorates  and  enjoyed  continuous 
growth  and  prosperity. 

A  change  began  with  the  settlement  of  Rev.  I.  Moore,  in  July,  1840. 
Since  then,  the  Church  has  had  thirteen  pastors,  in  sixty  years:  One 
remaining  eleven  years;  one,  ten  years;  one  eight  years;  one,  five  years; 
the  other  eight  averaging  more  than  two  years  each. 

Mr.  Moore  differed  widely  in  his  doctrinal  views  from  his  prede- 
cessors and  preached  his  convictions.  Former  pastors  were  decidedly 
Calvinistic  in  their  ministry,  developing  motives  for  Christian  activities 
from  the  Divine  sovereignity  building  up  a  high-toned  piety  that  busied 
heart,  hand  and  foot  for  the  Divine  glory.  Mr.  Moore  dwelt  upon  the 
virtues  of  well-doing  and  on  the  testimony  not  of  the  "witnessing  spirit," 
but  of  conduct.  This  nutriment  was  not  palatable  and  trouble  ensued: 
Councils  were  called  and  the  pillars  of  the  Church,  including  much  of 
its  wealth,  intelligence  and  spiritual  activity  were  dismis.sed;  the  social 
and  the  benevolent  interests  were  dried  up;  congregations  maimed  and 
wailing,  supplanted  rejoicing.  Mr.  Moore  was  a  good  man,  but  failed  to 
understand  the  situation.  His  change  from  a  diet  of  "faith  and  works" 
to  one  of  works  was  a  treatment  whereby  the  "patient"  grew  worse  in- 
stead of  better.  Had  he  waited  and  been  less  vigorous  in  discussion, 
he  might  have  prevailed  with  the  Church.  In  about  three  years,  he 
resigned.  The  writer  was  familiar  with  the  causes  of  the  unpleasant- 
ness. Really,  it  was  a  happening  in  which  both  parties  misunderstood 
each  other  and  pushing  with  their  horns,  hurt  each  other.  Mr.  Moore 
was  proven  in  that  he  had  the  good  sense  and  piety  to  retire,  rather 
than  stay  and  blight  the  heritage  of  God.  He  settled  at  First  Cape  May 
and  did  good  and  when  he  resigned,  after  a  pastorate  of  many  years, 
that  Church  recalled  him  and  his  second  pastorate  was  as  long  as  his  first. 

Rev.  E.  D.  Fendal  became  Pastor  of  Cohansie  Church  in  April, 
1843.  His  stay  was  about  three  years,  to  September,  1846.  He  had  a 
useful  pa.storate.  Large  accessions  by  baptism  and  the  membership 
larger  than  it  had  ever  been  before.  The  house  of  worship  at  Greenwich, 
projected  at  the  end  of  Pastor  Smalley's  term,  was  built  and  is  occupied 
by  the  Greenwich  Church  organized  in  1850. 

Rev.  J.  G.  Culhmi  followed  Mr.  Fendal  and  settled  as  pastor  in 
November,  1846,  remaining  to  the  end  of  July,  1850.     While  pastor,  a 


colony  was  dismissed  to  constitute  tlio  Greenwich  Church.  Also,  steps 
were  taken  to  huild  a  parsonage  at  Roadstown  and  funds  were  pledged 
to  remodel  the  interior  of  the  meeting  house.  A  succes.sor  to  Mr. 
Cullum  was  secured  in  Rev.  J.  N.  Folwell,  who  became  pastor  in 
October,  1850,  and  was  ordained  in  the  next  month  (November).  Mr. 
Folwell's  labors  were  shortened  by  illness  and  this  "earnest  effective" 
pastor  was  constrained  to  give  up  his  charge  in  February,  1852. 

In  April,  1852,  Rev.  J.  M.  Challis  entered  the  pastorate.  His  pas- 
toral charges  were  always  and  everywhere  a  success.  He  was  pastor 
eight  years  and  supplied  the  Church  until  his  successor  arrived.  Rev.  T. 
G.  Wright,  on  May  1st,  18G0.  Mr.  Wright  was  pastor  longer  than  any 
other  since  the  death  of  Mr.  Smalley — eleven  years.  A  lot  for  parsonage 
was  given  by  Benjamin  Mulford  in  August,  1861,  and  in  the  next  March 
the  pastor  occupied  it.  The  house  of  worship  was  enlarged  and  re- 
novated in  18G4.  Large  contributions  were  made  to  several  Baptist  ed- 
ucational institutions  from  1865-1868.  Pastor  Wright  was  followed  in 
August,  1871,  by  Rev.  T.  O.  Lincoln,  who  closed  his  ministry  at  Cohansie 
in  April,  1874.  In  that  year  Rev.  W.  F.  Basten  settled  as  pastor  and 
after  ten  years  resigned  in  1884.  A  call  was  given  to  Rev.  W.  W.  Pratt, 
which  accepting  began  his  oversight  January  1st,  1885,  and  ended  his 
pastoral  care  in  March,  1888.  Benevolences  and  Christian  activities 
developed  in  the  years  of  this  pastorate.  On  the  next  June,  Rev.  H. 
Tratt  accepted  the  call  to  be  pastor  and,  after  about  three  years,  resigned 
in  1890. 

A  few  months  elapsed  when  Rev.  E.  S.  Fitz  became  pastor,  in  May 
1891.  After  two  or  three  years  of  prosperity,  evil  reports  effected  his 
morality.  A  Council  was  called,  the  findings  of  which  although  "ex- 
parte"  and  repudiated  by  the  Church,  condemned  Mr.  Fitz.  At  the 
session  of  the  Association  in  1894,  "the  hand  of  fellowship  was  with- 
drawn from  the  Church  so  long  as  they  retained  their  present  pastor; 
regarding  him  unworthy  of  Christian  fellowship."  This  was  a  sorrowful 
act;  circumstances  justified  the  action.  A  creditable  feature  of  the  sad 
affair  was  the  devotion  of  the  venerable  Church,  sustaining  the  honor 
of  their  pastor,  fully  convinced  that  he  had  been  wronged  and  accepting 
with  him  the  condemnation  he  had  incurred.  This  ostracism  lasted  two 
years.  Mr.  Fitz  was  excluded  when  the  Church  was  satisfied  of  the 
truth  of  the  evil  reports  about  him  and  in  1897,  the  Church  reported  its 
self  and  its  action  to  the  association  and  had  a  warm  welcome  back. 

Rev.  T.  C.  Russell  entered  the  pastorate  three  months  after  Mr. 
Fitz  left,  in  May,  1896.  The  new  pastor  had  an  unenviable  place  and 
the  supposable  reason  for  his  course  was  a  hope  of  recovering  the  Church 
to  itself  and  of  averting  the  wreck  that  threatened.        A  noble  motive, 


with  which  he  allied  himself  to  the  great  army  of  martyrs.  The  sympa- 
thy of  the  neighboring  pastors  and  Churches  was  with  him  in  his  great 
work.  His  memory  will  always  be  precious  to  the  living  and  eternity 
only  can  show  the  results  of  his  work  and  worth.  The  wisdom  of  Mr. 
Russell,  was  shown  by  his  resignation.  Alienation  and  opprobrium 
attached  to  him  among  the  members  of  the  Church  by  the  course 
he  had  taken,  but  he  wisely  resigned  and  left  the  door  open  for  another 
in  whom  there  could  be  unity. 

Thus  in  April,  1898,  Rev.  J.  S.  Teasdale  accepted  the  pastorate  and 
is  now  (1900)  serving  the  Church.  The  old  time  unity  and  activity  is 
renewed.  The  Church  from  the  beginning  has  been  characterized  by 
a  comprehension  of  its  mission  to  bless  the  world.  The  early  pastors 
were  missionary  pastors,  having  stations  far  off,  involving  long  journeys 
and  perils  and  laying  foundations  for  Churches.  There  is  some  uncer- 
tainty as  to  the  number  of  meeting  houses,  which  the  Church  has  built 
in  part  or  in  whole,  probably  ten.  The  first  four  long  before  1742.  In 
1799,  the  site  of  the  house  now  in  use  at  Roadstown  was  bought  and  the 
house  built  there.  Two  parsonages  were  lived  in  by  pastors:  One  before 
1862,  the  other  in  1876.  It  is  not  certainly  known  how  many  have  been 
licensed  to  preach.  But  of  those  known,  two  pastors  have  each  been 
represented  in  the  ministry  by  a  son,  and  one,  Mr.  Kelsay,  by  a  son  and 
grandson.  Cohansie  has  a  large  lineage  of  Churches.  They  may  be 
counted  by  scores.  These  old  Churches  had  the  continent  before  them 
and  they  appreciated  their  opportunity  and  entered  in  to  possess  it.  To 
us  of  the  twentieth  century  is  offered  not  a  continent,  but  the  world 
through  the  agency  of  the  American  Baptist  Missionary  Union  and  the 
American  Baptist  Home  Missionary  Society. 

Salem,  the  county  seat  of  Salem  county  is  among  the  oldest  set- 
tlements in  New  Jersey.  In  1641,  English  colonists  from  Connecticut 
settled  at  Salemtown  .  About  this  time,  the  Swedes  bought  of  the  In- 
dians, the  district  from  Cape  May  to  Racon  Creek.  The  Swedes  yielded 
to  the  Dutch  and  the  Dutch  yielded  to  the  English.  The  "Friends" 
(Quaker.s)  flocked  to  New  Jersey  and  were  a  controlling  element  in  West 
Jer-sey,  assuring  to  the  people  free  speech,  free  conscience  and  equality 
in  the  Courts. 

In  1683,  Obadiah  Holmes,  Jr.,  youngest  son  of  Obadiah  Holmes, 
the  Massachustets  martyr,  came  to  Salem.  He  was  a  licensed  Baptist 
preacher,  and  being  appointed  a  Judge  in  the  county  Courts,  he  may 
have  lived  at  Salem.  Soon  after  coming  he  gathered  together  Baptists, 
set  up  Baptist  meetings  and  did  the  work  of  an  evangelist.  Cohansie 
Baptist  Church  owes  its  origin  to  him,  being  the  first  Baptist  minister 
in  these  parts. 


The  Cohansie  Church  was  located  on  the  Cohansie  river.  Very 
soon  after  its  organization  its  pastors  began  missionary  work  and  Salem 
was  one  of  the  first  localities  of  its  missions.  If  Mr.  Holmes  lived  in 
Salem,  the  beginning  of  Salem  Church  must  have  been  contemporary 
with  Cohansie  Church.  Rev.  Killingsworth  removed  to  Cohansie  and 
became  its  pastor  in  1690.  Later,  Judge  John  Holmes,  second  son  of 
Obadiah  Holmes.  Sr.,  and  brother  to  Obadiah  Holmes,  Jr.,  removed  to 
Salem  county,  settling  near  Alloway.  Pastor  Killingsworth  and  Oba- 
diah, Jr.,  were  Judges  in  the  Court  and  Baptists  had  two  of  their  number 
Judges  in  Salem  county.  Baptists  were  in  Salem  and  in  Alloway, 
which  led  in  1741-3  to  the  building  of  a  Baptist  house  of  worship  at  Mill 
Hollow,  two  miles  from  Salem  toward  Alloway,  and  the  two  congrega- 
tions worshiped  in  it.  A  few  years  after,  Mr.  Sheppard,  a  licentiate 
of  Cohansie,  moved  to  Alloway  and  supplied  that  branch.  A  Church 
had  been  constituted  at  Alloway,  in  1741.  The  pastors  of  Cohansie 
kept  on  in  the  missionary  work  of  Mr.  Killingsworth.  As  Pastor  Jen- 
kins declined  in  health  the  two  years  before  he  died  in  1754,  Messrs. 
Sheppard  and  Kelsay  maintained  the  out-stations,  each  in  their  respect- 
ive localities — Alloway  and  Pittsgrove.  Nineteen  Bapti.sts  were  on 
May  17th,  1755,  recognized  as  the  "Anti-Poedo  Baptist  Church  of  Salem 
and  Alloway  Creek."  Another  name:  "The  Anti-Poedo  Baptist 
Society  meeting  in  the  Town  of  Salem,"  was  adopted  in  June,  1786, 
the  Church  having  decided  to  build  a  meeting  house  in  Salem.  Services 
continued,  however,  in  the  Mill  Hollow  house  until  1790.  By  special 
legislative  act  the  name  was  again  changed  in  1860  to  the  "First  Baptist 
Church  of  Salem." 

Job  Sheppard  descended  from  David  Sheppard,  who  came  from 
Ireland  in  1683,  was  a  constituent  of  Cohansie  in  1690.  Job  Sheppard 
was  ordained  pastor  of  the  Salem  and  Alloway  Church,  1755-56.  He 
died  March  2nd,  1757,  only  fifty  years  old.  His  chief  work  was  done  be- 
fore his  ordination,  preaching  in  Salem,  Alloway  and  other  stations. 
He  was  a  man  of  rare  worth,  unenvious  and  without  a  taint  of  jealousy 
of  another's  influence  or  position.  Messrs.  Kelsay  and  Sheppard  had 
been  licensed  at  the  same  time,  when  Mr.  Jenkins  died,  each  was  anxious 
that  the  other  should  succeed  to  the  eminence  of  pastor  at  Cohansie. 
But  Mr.  Sheppard  preferred  the  lowlier  position  of  pastor  at  a  mission 
station.  There  was  a  sorrowful  lack  of  appreciation  in  the  Churches 
which  he  served,  that  his  dust  lies  in  an  unmarked  grave  in  a  country 
graveyard,  it  may  be,  overgrown  with  briers  and  weeds.  Job  Sheppard 
the  first  pastor  of  Salem  and  Joseph  Sheppard,  pastor  there  1809-29, 
were  descendants  of  David  Sheppard,  who  had  come  from  Ireland  in 
1683  and  was  a  constituent  of  Cohansie  Church. 


A  vacancy  in  the  pastoral  office  lasted  four  years.  When,  in  1761, 
Rev.  John  Sutton  became  pastor,  but  illness  compelled  him  to  retire 
within  a  few  months.  Mr.  Sutton  was  one  of  five  brothers — all  Bap- 
tist ministers — sent  out  by  Scotch  Plains  Church.  Rev.  John  Stutton 
was  a  graduate  of  Hopewell,  an  associate  with  Rev.  James  Manning,  of 
Scotch  Plains  Church,  founder  of  Brown  University.  Mr.  Sutton  was 
an  eminent  man  in  his  times.  An  interval  of  eighteen  months  occurred 
before  Rev.  John  Blackwell,  of  Hopewell,  entered  the  pastorate,  which 
again  soon  closed. 

About  four  years  passed,  when,  in  February,  1768,  Rev.  Abel  Grif- 
fiths settled  as  pastor,  ministering  seven  years  to  the  Church  and  sup- 
plied the  Brandywine  Church  in  Delaware.  Material  interests  prosper- 
ed under  Mr.  Griffiths.  A  parsonage  and  farm  of  one  hundred  acres 
about  a  mile  from  towTi  was  bought. 

A  long  vacancj'  of  nine  years  followed  the  resignation  of  Mr.  Grif- 
fiths, including  the  dark  days  of  the  American  Revolution.  This  in- 
terval, however,  showed  traces  of  the  Divine  presence.  In  one  year 
eighteen  were  baptized,  in  two  other  years,  eight  in  each.  Despite  of 
death  and  other  losses,  the  membership  had  doubled.  It  is  quite  likely 
that  Pastor  Kelsay  of  Cohansie  had  a  care  for  Salem  Church,  the  eldest 
child  of  his  Church. 

Rev.  P.  Van  Horn  became  pastor  in  March,  1784.  He  died  while 
pastor,  September  10th,  1789.  During  the  pastorate  of  Mr.  Van  Horn, 
1786,  the  meeting  house  in  Salem  was  begun  and  was  nearly  four  years 
before  completed.  The  building  was  of  brick,  large  and  substantial  and 
creditable  in  architecture  and  taste  to  those  who  built  it.  The  house 
cost  seven  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  It  was  built  on  a  lot  of  the 
widow  Dunlap,  formerly  Mary  Wiggins,  who  died  in  1797,  leaving,  by 
her  will,  all  her  property,  personal  and  real,  to  the  Church.  Eleanor 
Waters,  who  died  in  1795,  also  left  the  Church  100  pounds  or  about  $500. 
What  remained  of  these  legacies  in  1844  was  used  in  securing  the  present 
house  of  worship. 

About  a  year  after  Mr.  Van  Horn  died.  Rev.  Isaac  Skillman  entered 
the  pastor's  office,  in  September,  1790.  The  following  curious  docu- 
ment signifies  the  business  arrangement  of  this  settlement.  It  is  a 
sample  of  a  number  that  follow,  when  new  pastors  were  engaged.  It 
reads  as  follows:  "Be  it  remembered,  That  on  the  sixteenth  day  of 
November,  1791,  the  following  argeement  was  entered  into  between  the 
Rev.  Mr.  Isaac  Skillman  and  the  Baptist  Church  and  congregation  and 
their  trustees  in  Salem,  that  is  to  say,  the  said  Mr.  Skillman  covenants  and 
agrees  to  be  the  pastor  or  minister  of  said  Church  and  congregation,  to 
execute  all  the  duties  that  a  minister  ought  to  perform  in  a  Church 


agreeable  to  the  Baptist  Confession  of  Faith;  preach  all  funerals  that  he 
may  be  called  upon  to  preach  for  said  congregation;  preach  two  sermons 
a  day  in  the  summer  season,  visit  the  said  congregation  twice  a  year, 
formally,  and  not  leave  nor  absent  himself  from  the  necessary  services 
of  said  congregation,  without  consent  of  said  congregation.  And  the 
said  Church  and  congregation  and  their  trustees  doth  covenant  and 
agree  to  and  with  the  said  Mr.  Skillman  to  pay  him  for  his  labors  and 
services  in  the  said  Church  and  congregation,  as  above  said,  the  sum  of 
one  hundred  and  twenty-five  pounds  a  year,  to  commence  on  the  four- 
teenth day  of  August  last.  And  further  the  said  parties  agree  and 
promise  each  to  the  other  that  if  any  discontent  on  the  part  of  the  said 
Mr.  Skillman,  whereby  he  should  wish  to  be  dismissed  from  serving  said 
Church  and  congregation,  or  if  any  discontent  should  arise  in  the  Church 
and  congregation  that  they  should  wish  to  have  the  said  Mr.  Skillman 
dismissed  from  being  their  minister,  in  either  case,  they  may,  if  either  of 
them  see  'mete'  call  the  minister  and  two  of  the  members  from  Cumber- 
land and  Wilmington  Baptist  Churches  to  judge  between  them,  and  their 
determination  shall  be  binding  to  each  party.  In  witness  whereof  the 
parties  hereunto  set  their  hands  in  presents  of  the  minister  and  two 
members  of  the  Cumberland  Baptist  Church  and  the  minister  and  two 
members  of  the  Wilmington  Baptist  Church. 

Signed:  ISAAC    SKILLMAN,    Pastor. 

Henry  Smalley,  f^  ,        .  Job  Robinson,  f  „..,     .      , 

T       /u       r)  Cohansie  o  i  u  ajt-  !  Wilmmgton 

Jonathan  Bowen  i    „,        ,  Caleb  Way,  -I      ^.        , 

,Tr,      .  •   Church.  „,  c;         ^  I      Church 

Isaac  Wheaton  [  Thomas  Sasnot,  ( 

Thomas  Sayre,  John  Holme,  Benjamin  Holme, 

Anthony  Keasby,  John  Briggs,  John  Walker, 

Howell  Smith,  — Trustees. 

This  is  followed  by  the  signatures  of  seventeen  male  members  of 
the  Church  in  addition. 

Mr.  SkiUman  was  a  native  of  New  Jersey.  Had  prepared  for 
college  at  Hopewell  and  graduated  from  Princeton.  In  the  minutes  of 
the  Philadelphia  association,  October,  1772,  is  this  record:  "Thursday 
morning  being  appointed  by  the  First  Baptist  Church  of  this  city  (Phil- 
adelphia) for  the  ordination  of  Brother  Isaac  Skillman  to  the  work  of  the 
ministry,  it  was  attended  with  fasting  and  prayer  and  a  sermon  by 
Brother  James  Manning,  President  of  Brown  University.  Then  the 
person  was  ordained  by  Messrs.  John  Gano,  Abel  Morgan  and  Isaac 
Stelle;  the  charge  was  given  by  Benjamin  Miller."  Call  up  this  galaxy 
of  names — Manning,  Gano,  Morgan,  Stelle,  Miller!!  Manning,  Gano 
and  Miller  and  the  candidate,  Skillman,  natives  of  New  Jersey;  Morgan 
and  Stelle,  pastors  of  the  two  oldest  Churches  south  of  Rhode  Island 


and  Morgan  Edwards  was  then  pastor  of  the  First  Baptist  Church  in 
Philadelphia.  If  great  names  and  godly  men  ministering  in  Divine 
things,  could  call  down  the  sanctity  of  the  Holy  One  upon  the  person  in 
waiting,  he  might  be  assured  of  the  Divine  anointing  at  the  hands  of 

The  next  year,  Mr.  Skillman  settled  in  Boston,  Mass.,  (1773),  pastor 
of  the  Second  Baptist  Church  for  fourteen  years.  Resigning  his  charge 
there  he  accepted  the  call  to  Salem  in  1790.  "The  Church  grew  in 
numbers,  in  resources  and  in  effective  strength."  Mr.  Skillman  died 
suddenly  in  1799  and  was  greatly  lamented.  Leaving  the  memorial 
of  one  whom  "the  king  delighted  to  honor."  Mr.  H.  G.  Jones  supplied 
the  pulpit  for  six  months,  from  June,  1791,  when  he  was  called  to  be 
pastor,  in  January,  1792.  He  served  the  Church  nearh^  four  years, 
resigning  on  account  of  failing  health. 

After  several  months  had  gone,  Mr.  Thomas  Brown  was  called  and 
ordained  in  1796.  He  remained  two  years  and  moved  to  East  Jersey. 
His  short  pastorate  was  successful  and  he  left  behind  him  a  cherished 
memory.  Joseph  Sheppard  was  called  to  be  pastor  and  was  ordained 
in  April,  1809,  resigning  in  1829.  His  pastorate  of  twenty  years  was 
the  longest  the  Church  had  known.  Mr.  Sheppard  was  the  fifth  genera- 
tion from  the  original  David  Sheppard.  The  other  pastorates  approxi- 
mating Mr.  Sheppards  in  length  were  Rev.  J.  R.  Murphey  and  Rev.  A. 
H.  Sembower,  each  lasting  twelve  and  more  years.  The  oversight  of 
Pastor  Sheppard  was  a  continuous  good  to  the  Church.  Two  colonies 
were  dismissed  in  it,  to  constitute  Churches — Canton  and  Woodstown. 
Six  young  men  were  influenced  to  prepare  for  the  ministry.  A 
higher  academic  school  was  begun  and  a  building  erected  for  its  use. 
Under  his  able,  earnest  and  intelligent  oversight,  the  welfare  of  the 
Church  was  promoted.  He  took  an  active  part  in  originating  the  New 
Jersey  Baptist  Association  in  1811,  the  first  association  and  general 
body  of  Baptists  in  the  State,  and  was  its  first  clerk;  also,  clerk  of  the 
"New  Jersey  Baptist  Mission  Society,"  constituted  at  the  organiza- 
tion of  the  Association.  In  effect,  the  beginning  of  the  New  Jersey 
State  Convention.  Mr.  Sheppard  survived  his  removal  from  Salem 
about  nine  years  and  died  at  Camden  fifty-two  years  old. 

Rev.  C.  J.  Hopkins  followed  at  Salem,  in  May,  1829,  and  continued 
in  charge  of  the  Church  sLx  years.  Mr.  Hopkins  always  had  a  crowded 
audience  and  was  a  "taking"  preacher.  A  most  genial  and  humorous 
man.  Many  incidents  are  told  of  his  funny  side  both  on  the  road,  in 
the  parlor  and  in  the  pulpit.  Serious  matters  had  their  "sunny  side" 
to  him.  A  colony  for  the  organization  of  a  Church  at  Alloway  was  sent 
out  in  1830.     Later,  in  1859,  Mr.  Hopkins  returned  to  Salem  and  was 


pastor  of  the  Second  Church,  remaining  until  1861 ,  when  they  disbanded. 
While  visiting  Salem  in  July,  1862,  he  died  very  suddenly. 

Rev.  Thomas  Wilkes  followed  Mr.  Hopkins,  in  July,  1835.  His 
stay  was  only  eight  months.  Mr.  Nightinggale  succeeded  in  March, 
1863.  He  was  a  vigorous  man  and  of  his  piety  and  worth  none  who 
knew  him  had  any  doubt.  Had  he  been  born  a  hundred  years  earlier, 
he  would  have  fitted  the  times  admirably.  As  the  writer  remembers 
him,  his  solemnity  was  at  times  embarassing.  For  three  years,  after 
Mr.  Nightinggale,  Rev.  Samuel  Smith  was  pastor;  much  the  same  kind 
of  a  man  as  Mr.  Nightinggale  Worthily  known  for  the  three  "S's" — 
Sober,  Sound  and  Safe. 

The  pastor  succeeding  Mr.  Smith,  Rev.  S.  C.  James,  was  wholly 
unlike  the  two  last.  Ministering  from  January,  1842,  to  March,  1844. 
A  lovable  man  and  eminently  useful.  A  smile  always  wreathed  his 
countenance  and  his  words  cheery  and  youthful;  his  grey  hairs  seemed 
out  of  place.  In  April,  1844,  Rev.  J.  W.  Gibbs  entered  the  pastorate. 
He  had  the  gift  of  words.  One  of  the  good  women  of  his  Church  said 
to  him,  "Mr.  Gibbs  we  cannot  understand  the  words  you  use,"  To  her 
he  replied:  "My  sister,  you  must  buy  a  dictionary."  A  member  of 
his  congregation  caught  this  from  his  sermon: — "Anticipating  the 
circumstances  of  the  results  of  the  consequences  on  the  part  of  the 
Apostles,  aside  and  separate  from  the  Scriptures." 

A  new  house  of  worship  down  town  where  people  lived  had  long 
been  needed.  The  sanctity  of  the  old  house  of  worship  suddenly  en- 
hanced. A  second  Church  was  formed  of  the  disaffected  to  the 
movement.  The  gates  of  the  cemetery  in  which  it  stood  were  locked 
and  funerals  with  the  dead  shut  out.  The  new  structure,  however, 
was  finished  and  dedicated  in  December,  1846.  Pastor  Gibbs  re- 
mained about  three  years.  Closing  his  labors  in  April,  1847.  Mr. 
Gibbs  did  a  great  work  for  the  Church  by  his  tact  and  wisdom  in 
building  the  new   sanctuary. 

James  Smithers  became  pastor  on  the  same  day  on  which  Pastor 
Gibbs  retired.  He  was  discovered  in  various  immoralities  and  ex- 
pelled from  the  Church  on  account  of  them. 

Special  Providence  sent  them  for  pastor  Rev.  R.  F.  Young.  The 
troubles  growing  out  of  building  the  new  Church  edifice  and  the  odium 
which  attacked  to  the  Church  on  account  of  the  Smithers  reprobacy, 
called  for  such  a  pastor  as  Mr.  Yovmg  proved  to  be.  One  who  could 
instantly  command  universal  confidence  for  his  known  purity  in  the 
many  years  of  his  devoted  Christian  ministry.  He  became  pastor, 
October  1st,  1849.  While  pastor  for  five  years,  his  labors  were  incessant 
and  reached  in  every  direction.     He  made  no  pretentions  and  was  emi- 


nent  for  humility,  tenderness  and  efficiency.  Many  converts  were  add- 
ed to  the  Cliurch  under  his  hibors,  the  debt  on  the  new  Church  edifice 
was  paid  and  concord  in  the  Church  restored.  A  second  effort  was  made 
to  found  an  academic  school.  The  failure  of  the  movement  and  the 
loss  of  funds  to  provide  a  temporary  home  for  the  school  was  wholly 
beyond  the  control  of  Mr.  Young.  Mr.  Young  resigned  October, 
1854,  to  return  to  an  old  charge  in  Pennsylvania.  The  beloved  and 
able  Aaron  Perkins  followed  in  February,  1855,  and  soon  remedied  so 
great  a  loss.  Mr.  Perkins  was  in  his  sixty-third  year  and  had  been 
preaching  for  forty-three  years,  but  retained  the  ardor  and  vigor  of  his 
youth.  At  the  close  of  his  pastorate,  in  July,  1859,  he  left  large  re- 
turns as  the  harvest  of  his  sowing  and  of  the  wonderful  rewards  which 
his  successor  was  privileged  to  reap.  A  few  months  later,  in  October, 
1859,  Rev.  J.  R.  Murphey  became  pastor  and  for  twelve  years  served 
the  Church.  In  1868  and  18G9  a  revival  broke  out  and  two  hundred  and 
forty-seven  were  baptized,  the  largest  number  baptized  in  one  associa- 
tional  year  in  any  Baptist  Church  in  the  State.  Seventy-two  members 
were  dismissed  in  July,  1869,  to  organize  the  memorial  Church  in  Salem. 
A  week  elapsed  at  the  close  of  the  service  of  Pastor  Murphey  in  March, 
1872,  when  Mr.  Miles  Sanford  settled  as  Pastor.  Mr.  Sanford  died 
October  31st,  1874,  only  two  years  and  seven  months  after  the  be- 
ginning of  his  work. 

After  an  interval  of  months,  Rev.  C.  E.  Cords  entered  the  pastorate 
in  June,  1875,  and  resigned  in  November,  1877.  His  pastoral  relation 
identified  him  with  Baptist  interests  in  Salem  and  in  1881  "the  memorial 
Church"  called  him  to  be  their  pastor.  Rev.  J.  B.  English  became  pas- 
tor, serving  as  such  about  two  years. 

"Supplies"  ministered  to  the  Church  for  many  months  when  a  call 
was  given  to  Mr.  H.  A.  Griesemer,  who  was  ordained  pastor  in  February, 
1881.  Improvements  on  the  meeting  house  at  a  larger  expenditure  than 
the  original  cost  of  the  projaerty,  added  every  needed  convenience  for 
Christian  work.     Mr.  Griesemer  resigned  in  April,  1884. 

Pastor  A.  H.  Sembower  began  his  ministry  at  Salem  on  September 
1st,  1884  and  continued  twelve  and  more  years.  Being  the  second 
pastor  after  Joseph  Sheppard  who  showed  the  gains  made  by  long  pas- 
torates, to  both  pastor  and  Church.  Mr.  Sembower  resigned  in  1896. 
The  debts  incurred  by  improvements  in  the  previous  pastoral  care,  were 
all  paid  in  this  pastorate.  A  colored  sister,  Sidney  Miller,  a  member  of 
the  Church,  left  a  legacy  of  eighteen  hundred  dollars  to  the  Church, 
which  was  used  to  pay  the  last  debts.  Pastor  Sembower  followed  some 
of  his  predecessors  in  being  a  missionary  pastor.  In  Salem,  a  colony 
founded   the   Mt.    Zion   Church,    and  in    1890,    forty-eight    members 


founded  the  Quinton  Church.  In  February,  1897,  Kcv.  E.  McMinn 
became  pastor  and  continued  until  1000,  when  he  resigned. 

Salem  has  had  twenty-five  pastors.  One  served  twenty  years; 
two,  more  than  twelve  j^ears;  four  closed  their  work  on  earth  by  death: 
— Job  Sheppard,  P.  Van  Horn,  I.  Skillman  and  Miles  Sanford.  Five 
pastors  were  ordained  for  the  pastoral  office. 

As  many  as  eleven  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach;  some 
of  tliem  foremost  men  in  the  Baptist  ministry.  One,  C.  W.  Mulford, 
was  a  champion  of  temperance  in  a  day  when  it  was  an  unpopular  theme 
and  was  secretary  and  president  of  the  New  Jersey  State  Convention. 
Another  was  D.  J.  Freas,  he  had  financial  "means."  Entering  a  field, 
found  nine  Baptists  beside  himself ;  prevailed  to  have  a  Church  formed; 
and  wasoneof  its  constituents;  was  pastor  and  used  his  funds  to  build  a 
house  of  worship,  sheds  and  what  else  was  needful.  The  writer  recalls, 
that  having  spent  "all,"  he  asked  the  endorsement  of  the  Board  of  the 
Convention  to  visit  Churches  and  ask  their  help  to  repay  him.  Alas, 
that  it  was  a  vain  venture!  Mr.  Freas  spent  the  last  years  of  his  life  as 
a  city  missionary  in  Trenton,  N.  J.  He  chose  this  work  of  his  own 
accord  and  without  salary.  But  he  lacked  nothing  for  his  work  or  for 
himself.  It  was  said:  "There  had  never  been  such  a  funeral  in  Tren- 
ton," cither  for  the  number  of  clergymen  present,  nor  for  the 
persons  there,  rich  and  poor,  nor  for  the  profound  and  universal  grief 
expressed;  nor  for  the  multitude  present  to  do  honor  to  the  man  whose 
unselfishness  and  piety  was  known  throughout  the  city. 

Seven  colonies  went  out  from  Salem  Church.  These  included  two 
hundred  and  thirty-six  members.  The  membership  included  the 
Holmes,  Smiths,  Keasbe)'s,  Sheppards  and  Quintons,  a  large  and  in- 
fluential part  of  the  wealth  and  culture  of  the  comnmnity. 


CANTON,  1818,  WOODSTOWN,  1822,  ALLOW  AY,  1830, 

Canton  is  about  midway  between  Cohansie  and  Salem.  Nathaniel 
Jenkins,  first  made  Canton  an  out-station  of  Cohansie  Church,  long  be- 
fore Salem  Church  was  formed.  Pastors  Kelsay,  of  Cohansie,  and  Job 
Sheppard,  of  Salem,  and  their  successors  kept  up  the  appointment. 
Steps  were  taken  in  1809  to  build  a  meeting  house  in  Canton.  Messrs. 
Small ey,  of  Cohansie,  and  Joseph  Sheppard,  of  Salem,  also,  took  meas- 
ures for  the  organization  of  a  Church.  Since  mention  is  made  "of 
constituent  members  and  of  a  councO  in  November,  1812,"  having 
frequent  consultations  and  it  "was  resolved  to  constitute  a  gospel 
Church."     For  some  reason  this  decision  was  not  carried  out. 

SLx  years  later,  on  November  12,  1818,  Pastors  Smalley  and  Shep- 
pard met  with  twenty-six  members  dismissed  from  Salem  and  five  from 
Cohansie,  in  all  thirty-one,  and  endorsed  them  as  a  regular  Baptist 
Church.  Previously  an  arrangement  had  been  made  with  Mr.  Thomas 
J.  Kitts  to  become  pastor  and  in  the  next  December  he  was  ordained. 
Pastor  Kitts  was  very  useful,  but  he  resigned  at  the  end  of  sixteen 
months.  The  pastors  were  Rev.  J.  P.  Cooper,  1821-23;  Rev.  E.  Jayne, 
1824,  seventy  years  old  and  died  in  April,  1826;  Rev.  J.  P.  Thompson, 
1827-30;  E.  M.  Barker,  1830-33;  ordained  1831,  Rev.  J.  P.  Cooper, 
second  charge;  Rev.  J.  Miller,  five  years,  an  antinomian.  tender  him 
the  Church  withdrew  from  the  New  Jersey  Association  and  sent  a  dele- 
gate to  an  anti-nomian  association. 

In  December,  1834,  they  resolved:  "That,  we  as  a  particular 
Baptist  Church  hold  no  further  correspondence  with  the  New  Jersey 
Baptist  Association,  believing  that  they  have  acted  contrary  to  their 
constitution  in  the  following  particulars:  First.  To  allow  Churches 
to  make  alterations  in  their  'articles  of  faith.'  Second.  In  the 
admission  of  the  Church  at  Vincentown  on  a  new  'confession  of  faith.' 
We  have,  therefore,  come  to  the  conclusion:  "That  the  aforesaid 
Association  has  no  standing  article  of  faith  by  which  it  may  be  discrim- 
inated as  a  particular  body  and  under  such  considerations,  we  have 
deemed  it  expedient  to  withdraw  from  the  same."  The  resolution  to 
which  reference  is  made  is:  Resolved,  that  we  recognize  no  right  in 
our  association  to  dictate  confessions  of  faith  to  the  Churches,   and 


therefore,  deem  it  expedient  to  act  upon  the  confession  of  faith, 
which  we  have  generally  received,  but  refer  it  to  the  Churches  to 
make  such  alterations  as  they  may  deem  necessary  in  that  instrument." 

This  resolution  is  wholly  Baptistic,  denying  to  associations  or  to 
any  other  person  or  body  the  right  to  dictate  to  a  Church  what  it  shall 
believe.  The  Canton  Church  had  no  right  to  dictate  to  the  Asso- 
ciation, that  it  ought  to  dictate  to  the  Churches.  A  Church 
must  choose  for  itself.  If  Baptist,  Presbyterian  or  another  it  is 
free  to  choose  its  own  relationship.  The  only  right  of  an  associated 
Church  is  to  inquire  if  it  agrees  to  the  accepted  faith.  Asking  to  join 
a  Baptist  or  any  other  such  body  one  ought  to  be  a  Baptist,  or  be  in 
accord  with  those  with  whom  he  unites. 

In  the  digest  of  1833,  page  7,  a  quotation  from  the  Canton  letter 
says:  "Have  preaching  from  a  sound  evangelical  man."  Sound  and 
evangelical  had  a  significant  meaning  in  that  day.  To  one  familiar 
with  Hyper  and  moderate  Calvinism,  two  generations  since,  the  memory 
is  horrible.  An  "unsound"  preacher  was  ostracised.  We  can  have 
no  conception  of  the  bitterness  and  enmity  cherished  against  Rev.  H. 
Holcombe,  pastor  of  the  First  Baptist  Church  in  Philadelphia,  excited 
by  that  memorable  sermon,  "On  the  attainableness  of  faith"  inti- 
mating that  a  soul  had  some  part  in  its  own  salvation,  at  least,  by  ac- 
ceptance of  Christ  and  by  overcoming  and  growth. 

Subsequently  this  action  of  the  Canton  Church  was  shown  to  be  the 
work  of  the  Pastor  and  he  became  a  "bone  of  contention."  A  council 
was  called,  both  parties  agreeing  to  abide  by  their  decision.  But  the 
Miller  faction  repudiated  it,  and  Mr.  Miller  and  the  minority  left 
the  Church.  Another  council's  advise  was  accepted  and  Miller  with 
thirty  adherents  were  excluded.  These  built  a  place  of  worship,  near 
the  old  Church  edifice,  adopted  anti-nomianism,  having  Mr.  Miller  for 
pastor.  But  when  he  removed,  the  light  went  out  and  the  property 
was  put  to  secular  uses.  This  was  the  only  attempt  of  anti-nomianism 
made  in  South  Jersey.  Pastor  Moore,  at  Cohansie,  tasted,  1843,  its 
bitterness.  With  his  removal  and  the  coming  of  another,  using 
careful  formula  of  speech,  dissent  and  difference  disappeared.  An 
old  pastor  at  Canton,  Rev.  J.  P.  Cooper,  whose  goodness  and 
ministering  piety  were  known  to  all  and  doubted  by  none,  em- 
ployed himself  to  heal  the  wounds  of  old  hurts  and  to  restore  the 
spirituality  of  the  Church. 

Rev.  William  Ruddy  became  pastor  in  1838.  The  Church  re- 
united with  the  New  Jersey  Association.  A  large  and  very  creditable 
brick  house  of  worship  was  built  and  paid  for  in  1840-1.  Pastor  Ruddy 
resigned  in  1841.     His  pastoral  care  was  unmi.xed  good  to  the  Church 


and  to  the  community.  Rev.  William  J.  Nice  followed.  Prudent, 
extremely  modest,  eminently  pious,  his  work  and  influence  promoted 
the  best  spiritual  welfare  of  the  Church.  Concord  prevailed,  many 
converts  were  gathered,  restoration  characterized  the  labors  of  one  of 
the  best  of  men.  After  this  the  pastors  were:  Rev.  William  Bowen, 
1842-45;  George  Sleeper,  1849-55;  William  Pike,  1856-58;  S.  C.  Dare, 
1859-63;  W.  E.  Cornwell,  Jr.,  1864-5;  J.  W.  Marsh,  1866-69;  E.  M.  Buyrn, 
1870;  S.  Hughes,  1871;  E.  M.  Barker,  Second  pastorate,  1872-73;  F. 
Spencer,  1874-76;  M.  M.  Fogg,  1877-80;  C.  DeCamp,  1881-83;  J.  Ferris, 
1883-87;  J.  J.  Davies,  1887-91;  William  G.  Robinson,  1891-93;  J.  D. 
Williams,  1894-96;  L.  Myers,  1896-1900. 

The  Church  has  had  twenty-seven  pastors  in  its  eighty-two  years 
of  life,  an  average  of  three  years  each.  One  died  while  pastor.  Two 
were  pastors  twice,  and  it  may  be  one  of  them,  three  times.  Mr.  Marsh 
baptized  ninety-five  in  1867-68.  Mr.  Dare  baptized  in  1861-62 
seventy-one.  Mr.  Fogg,  in  1880-81  baptized  sixty-five.  Other 
pastors  while  no  less  useful  did  not  gather  in  so  many  converts  in 
any  one  revival  work.  Two  houses  of  worship  have  been  in  use  by  Can- 
ton Church,  one  built  in  1809,  while  Canton  was  yet  a  mission  station  of 
Cohansie  Church,  the  other  in  1840-1,  Mr.  Ruddy  being  pastor. 

There  is  no  reliable  information  of  Baptist  intere.sts  in  Wood.stowTi 
earlier  tlian  1 822.  Pastor  Kelsay  and  Pastor  Sheppard  may  have  had 
meetings  there  before  the  organization  of  the  Church.  VVoodstowai 
Baptists  were  commonly  associated  with  the  Salem  Church  as  the  con- 
stituency of  Woodstown  shows.  The  Church  was  formed  of  fifteen 
members,  fourteen  of  them  from  Salem  and  one  from  Cohansie  and  was 
organized  as  an  independent  body  on  July  24th,  1822.  In  the  next 
August,  Mr.  William  B.  Marshall  was  ordained.  His  stay  was  short, 
only  about  six  months.  Rev.  P.  Cooper  followed  for  a  year.  On 
October  23rd,  Rev.  WiUiam  Bacon,  M.  D.,  became  pastor.  Both  as 
physician  and  pastor.  Dr.  Bacon  sustained  a  noble  record  as  a 
good  and  true  man  having  the  entire  confidence  of  all,  even  though 
his  home  was  a  burden  and  an  affliction  and  only  the  good 
of  Christ's  cause  prevented  him  from  making  his  troubles  pub- 
lic and  getting  a  divorce.  While  pastor,  the  temperance  pledge 
was  added  to  the  covenant,  in  1832.  A  society  was  also  formed 
to  aid  young  men  to  get  an  education  for  the  ministry,  six  years  before 
the  New  Jersey  Education  Society  was  organized.  After  eight  years 
of  untiring  service,  Dr.  Bacon  resigned,  in  February,  1838.  But  for 
his  income  from  his  medical  practice  he  could  not  have  been  supported 
on  the  field  and  this  the  more  indicates  his  worth. 


The  succession  of  pastors  has  been  :  Rev.  H.  Samuel  Wilson,  1839; 
Rev.  C.  C.  W.  Park,  1840-42;  Mr.  D.  Mead,  ordained  in  July  1842-44;  Mr. 
F.  P.  Baldin,  ordained  December,  1844,  suddenly  died  within  a  year; 
A.  J.  Hires,  "supply,"  ordained  July,  1846-47;  Rev.  J.  P.  Hall,  1847-50; 
Rev.  C.  Brinkerhoff,  1850-54;  Rev.  A.  Harvey,  1S54-5G;  E.  C.  Ambler, 
1856-59  (Lecture  and  Sunday-school  room  built  in  1858.);  W.  E.  Corn- 
well,  1860,  ordained  1861  and  remained  as  "supply;"  H.  B.  Shermer, 
1861-63;  Rev.  F.  D.  Meeson,  1864-65. 

For  nearly  three  years  destitute  of  a  pastor,  in  which  time  A.  J. 
Hires  and  E.  M.  Barker  were  supplies;  Rev.  S.  C.  Dare,  1868-69;  (Bap- 
tistry put  into  the  house  of  worship  in  this  pastorate.)  Rev.  J.  Thorn, 
1870-71;  Rev.  F.  B.  Greul,  1872-74;  ordained;  Rev.  P.  S.  Vreeland, 
1874-76;  Rev.  F.  W.  Sullivan,  1877-78;  (In  1878,  Sister  S.  B.  Ale  in  her 
will  left  her  house  to  the  Church  for  a  parsonage.)  Mr.  E.  I.  McKeever, 
1878-81; (ordained  1879.)  Rev.  E.  D.  Stager,  1881. 

The  Church  has  had  twenty-eight  pastors.  Dr.  Bacon  had  the  long- 
est charge,  eight  years.  Seven  of  the  pastors  were  ordained.  Five  mem- 
bers have  been  licen.sed  to  preach.  The  loss  of  the  early  records  ac- 
counts for  our  ignorance  of  how  and  when  the  Church  edifice  was  built, 
a  substantial  brick  building  of  large  size  for  the  times  in  which  it  was 
erected.  It  was  believed  that  each  of  the  two  deacons  gave  one 
thousand  dollars  for  it.  One  of  them,  Matthew  Morri.son,  is  knowoi 
to  have  given  one  third  of  his  property  toward  the  building.  It  was 
said  that  in  the  night  he  dreamed  that  he  and  Deacon  Waters  had  given 
that  sum,  whereupon  he  asked  the  Brother  Deacon  to  give  that  amount. 
He,  willing  to  give  liberally,  did  not  think  that  he  could  give  so  much. 
But  constant  importunity  prevailed,  and  such  an  example  secured  the 
additional  needed  sum  and  the  work  was  done.  From  his  knowledge 
of  Deacon  Morrison,  the  writer  is  fully  persuaded  that  he  was  the  kind 
of  man  whose  whole  soul  was  wrapped  up  in  the  welfare  of  the  kingdom 
of  God. 

Baptists  and  Alloway  are  associated  from  an  early  date.  John 
Holmes,  second  son  of  Obadiah  Holmes,  Sr.,  the  Massachusett.9- martyr, 
moved  from  Philadelphia  to  Alloway  earlier  than  1700.  His  youngest 
brother,  Obadiah,  Jr.,  having  come  to  Salem  county  about  1683-5. 
John  Holmes  was  a  man  of  wealth,  of  culture  and  of  position  in  .social 
life.  Under  the  Colonial  government,  he  was  a  Judge  in  Philadelphia 
and  was  in  disfavor  with  the  "Friends"  (Quakers)  for  a  decision  in  which 
he  maintained  the  Baptist  doctrine  of  the  right  of  private  opinion. 
Other  Baptists  lived  at  Alloway.  In  reprint  of  Philadelphia  A.ssociation 
(A.  B.  P.  Soc,  1851)  1755,  page  72,  is  this  minute:  "Concluded  to  receive 
the  Church  lately  constituted  at  AUoway's  Creek  in  Salem  county." 


This  body  and  First  Salem  were  really  one  Church.  The  first  meeting 
house  of  this  body  was  built  at  Mill  Hollow,  on  land  given  by  Daniel 
Smith,  two  miles  from  Salem,  toward  Alloway.  Mr.  Job  Sheppard  was 
the  first  pastor  of  this  Church  and  preached  twelve  years  in  the  Mill 
Hollow  house. 

There  was  in  early  times  a  very  real  Baptist  element  in  Alloway. 
A  concentration  of  Baptists  in  Salem  at  the  building  of  the  Second 
Church  edifice  in  Upper  Salem,  accounts  for  the  loss  of  Baptist  influence 
in  Alloway.  A  Baptist  house  of  worship  was  built  in  Alloway,  in  1S21, 
and  Pastors  Cooper,  Sheppard  (Joseph)  and  Hopkins  preached  in  it. 
The  present  Church  was  not  organized  until  1830,  when  twenty-five 
members  were  dismissed  from  Salem  to  constitute  the  Church.  In 
1832,  Rev.  E.  M.  Barker  became  pastor.  Rev.  John  Miller  was  pastor 
in  1833,  lieing  an  anti-nomian  he  led  about  one  third  into  schism,  but  he 
and  his  party  were  failures.  Rev.  Mr.  Ferguson  was  pastor  in  1835. 
Dr.  Bacon,  of  Woodstown,  divided  his  labors  at  home  and  in  Alloway,  in 
1836.  The  succession  of  pastors  was:  N.  Stetson,  one  year;  Ezekiel 
Sexton,  three  years;  then,  "supplies,"  William  Maul,  three  years;  F.  T. 
Cailhopper,  seven  years,  and  ordained;  William  Roney,  one  year;  James 
Tricket,  four  years;  A.  H.  Bliss,  seven  years,  while  pastor  the  meeting 
house  was  enlarged  and  remodeled;  J.  E.  Bradley,  three  years;  M.  M. 
Finch,  one  year;  J.  Walden,  three  years;  J.  Tricket,  three  years  (second 
charge);  L.  Wardell,  one  year;  E.  V.  Glover,  three  years;  C.  R.  Webb, 
one  year;  W.  L.  Mayo,  two  years,  in  whose  oversight  a  parsonage  was 
built;  G.  S.  Wendell,  seven  years. 

Since  1832,  twenty-three  pastors  have  served  the  Church.  Being  a 
rural  Church,  a  struggle  was  essential  to  maintain  it.  Had  such 
Churches  an  endowment  to  pay  the  current  costs,  the  Church  need  only 
care  for  the  pastor  and  the  foreign  element  now  being  substituted  for 
the  American  in  rural  sections.  It  would  have  the  means  and  influence 
to  Christianize  and  Americanize  them. 

As  one  result  of  the  great  revival  in  the  First  Bapitst  Church  of 
Salem,  in  1868-69,  the  Memorial  Baptist  Church  of  Salem  was  con- 
stituted on  July  4th,  1869,  with  seventy-two  constituents  dismissed 
from  the  First  Church,  for  the  organization  of  the  Memorial  Church.  It 
was  supposed  that  this  new  Church  was  intended  to  be  a  memorial  of 
the  work  of  grace  out  of  which  it  grew.  It  met  in  a  hall  until  their 
house  of  worship  was  ready  for  use.  The  basement  of  their  Church 
edifice  was  occupied  in  1870,  and  upon  entrance  into  the  upper  room  all 
expenditures  were  paid. 

On  September  1st,  1869,  Rev.  H.  H.  Rhees  became  pastor.  His 
stay  was  short  and,  in  1870,  Rev.  H.  G.  Mason  accepted  the  pastoral 


charge,  closins;  his  oversight  in  1875.  Rev.  A.  C.  WilHams  entered  the 
pa.storate  in  May,  187fi,  and  conckided  his  pastoral  care  in  1879,  being 
followed  by  Rev.  C.  M.  Ray,  in  March,  1879,  continuing  until  1881. 
Pastor  C.  E.  Cordo  settled  on  February  1,  1881.  Important  and 
needed  repairs  on  the  meeting  house  were  made  and  at  the  end  of 
four  years,  he  resigned  in  April,  188G.  Rev.  D.  DeWolf  entered 
the  pastorate,  in  November,  1890.  Mr.  DeWolf  was  called  into 
the  service  of  the  Now  Jersey  Baptist  State  Convention  and  B.  P.  Hope 
became  pastor  in  March,  1891,  and  is  now  (1900)  pastor.  A  parsonage 
was  bought  in  1893.  Mr.  Hope  exceeded  in  tlie  length  of  his  oversight 
any  preceeding  pastor. 

The  Memorial  Church  has  had  seven  pastors.  Mr.  Hope  has  in- 
cluded more  than  one-third  of  the  time  the  Church  has  lived.  One 
member  has  been  licensed  to  preach.  The  financial  management  of  the 
Church  has  accorded  with  business  affairs,  a  most  creditable  arrange- 

A  mission  was  begun  by  First  Salem  Church  at  Quinton, 
in  1876,  in  the  school  house.  Two  constituents  of  the  First  Baptist 
Church  at  Salem,  in  1755,  were  Quintons  and  probably  a  Baptist  ele- 
ment was  in  the  place.  In  1888,  a  chapel  society  was  formed  and  they 
erected  a  building  which  was  dedicated  in  March,  1890,  and  at  that  time 
a  Baptist  Church  with  forty-nine  members  was  formed.  Of  these,  forty- 
eight  were  dismissed  from  First  Salem  Church.  Within  a  year  it  had 
largely  increased. 

After  the  organization,  a  student  preached  until  July,  1891,  when 
Rev.  H.  S.  Kidd  became  pastor,  remaining  about  a  year.  The  members 
increased  in  1892  to  nearly  one  hundred  .  In  November,  1892,  Rev. 
W.  H.  Burlew  entered  the  pastorate.  A  parsonage  had  been  built. 
Mr.  Burlew  resigned  in  1894.  Rev.  William  B.  Crowell  settled  as  pastor 
in  1895.  A  mission  at  Harmony  was  begun  about  this  time.  Revival 
seasons  appeared  and  the  general  interests  of  the  Church  improved. 
Mr.  Crowell  having  been  pastor  nearly  three  years,  resigned  in  February, 
1899.  The  next  April  Rev.  E.  Fullaway  became  pastor.  Quinton 
Church  has  prospered. 

Located  in  a  rural  district,  tlie  outlook  for  its  increase  is  limited. 
But  alone  in  its  field,  it  will  be  responsible  for  making  known  the  way  of 
life  to  the  people  thereabouts.  With  little  prospects  of  a  large  member- 
ship, it  will  have  the  larger  opportunity  to  train  its  membership  for  a 
larger  part  in  the  Kingdom  of  God. 



Bridgeton  is  distant  three  or  four  miles  from  Roadstown.  Robert 
Kelsay,  pastor  of  ('ohansie  was  the  first  Baptist  to  preach  in  the  place, 
then  consisting  of  a  few  cabins  and  a  transient  population.  The  first 
house  of  worship  was  built  there  in  1792,  when  Bridgeton  gave  sign  of 
its  coming  position  as  a  county  seat.  Baptists  from  Bridgeton  could 
easier  get  to  Cohansie  and  the  need  of  a  Baptist  Church  in  Bridgeton 
was  not  as  necessary  then,  as  later.  An  early  planting  of  a  Baptist 
Church  was  therefore  delayed.  Pastor  Kelsay  had  also  nearly  reached 
his  eightieth  year  and  his  home  field  needed  all  of  his  strength. 

On  July  3rd,  1790,  Mr.  H.  Smalley  became  pa.stor  and  in  1797,  made 
a  regular  appointment  to  preach  in  the  Court  House  at  Bridgeton. 
Pastor  Smalley  continued  this  service  until  1816,  when  it  was  removed 
to  the  new  meeting  house  on  Pearl  street,  a  substantial  brick  building 
begun  in  1812.  The  preaching  was  in  the  afternoon  of  the  Lord's  day. 
At  a  meeting  in  this  in  February,  1827,  resident  Baptists  agreed 
to  ask  letters  to  organize  the  First  Baptist  Church  of  Bridgeton  having 
gotten  a  minister  as  conditioned  by  the  Cohansie  Church.  On  January 
Sth,  1828,  Cohansie  Church  gave  letters  to  thirty-eight  members,  who 
with  pa.stor  elect.  Rev.  George  Spratt,  M.  D.,  and  his  wife,  made  forty, 
were  constituted  the  First  Baptist  Church  of  Bridgeton.  financial 
troubles  came  early  and  discord,  and  Dr.  Spratt  resigned  in  October, 

Rev.  J.  C.  Harrison  settled  in  February,  1831.  Tokens  of  Divine 
ble.ssing  and  monthly  additions  by  baptism  for  two  years  caused  the 
indifference  and  discord  to  disappear.  One  memljer  was  licensed  to 
preach.  At  the  end  of  three  years,  in  March,  1834,  Mr.  Harrison  re- 
signed. In  December,  1834,  Rev.  M.  Frederick  became  pastor.  Mr. 
Frederick  was  an  exceptional  man  for  the  graces  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 
He  died  November  13th,  1837,  universally  beloved  both  in  the  Church 
and  in  the  community.  While  pastor  he  organized  a  Church  in  Cedar- 
ville.  In  his  pastorate  he  baptized  one  hundred  and  fifteen  converts. 
The  Church  numbering  eighty-seven  at  his  coming,  had  one  hunderd 
and  sixtv-six  when  he  died. 


In  November,  1838,  llev.  C.  J.  Hopkins  settled  as  pastor.  Upon 
his  labors  the  Divine  blessing  rested.  Mission  work  at  home  and  abroad 
had  a  large  place  in  the  Church  under  his  influence.  Mr.  Hopkins  had 
eminent  social  gifts  and  was  as  much  beloved  as  was  Pastor  Frederick, 
and  yet  there  was  a  vast  difference  in  the  men.  His  predecessor  was 
not  a  "solemn  man"  in  the  common  sense,  but  a  religious  man  impressing 
others  that  while  there  were  other  things  in  the  world  beside  religion, 
they  were  insignificant,  lacking  the  savor  of  piety.  But  Mr.  Hopkins 
met  people  with  a  smile  and  rarely  failed  to  have  them  smile,  too.  He 
did  not  always  come  out  foremost  in  his  humor.  An  incident  happened 
in  Bridgeton  of  the  kind:  A  colored  man  asked  him  to  marry  him,  say- 
that  he  would  give  him  five  dollars  "  if  you  marry  me  as  you  do  white 
folks."  "Certainly  I  will."  They  came  and  were  married.  As  they 
were  leaving  and  as  nothing  had  been  said  of  the  "fee,"  Mr.  Hopkins 
said  to  the  man:  "You  said  you  would  give  me  five  dollars  if  I  married 
you  as  I  did  white  folks?"  "Yes."  "Ah!  Massa,  you  no  marry  me  as 
you  did  white  folks."  "Yes,  I  did."  "Ah!  Massa,  you  no  bus  the  brideW" 
None  would  more  appreciate  this  outcome  than  Mr.  Hopkins,  even  at 
the  cost  of  five  dollars.  During  the  pastorate  of  Mr.  Hopkins,  a 
"lecture  and  social  meeting  room"  was  built  "down  town."  He 
resigned  in  September,  1S43,  much  against  the  wish  of  his  people. 

Great  as  was  the  unlikeness  between  Mr.  Frederick  and  his  successor 
it  was  no  more  so  than  between  Mr.  Hopkins  and  Rev.  C.  E.  Wilson,  his 
successor.  Mr.  Wilson  was  a  most  amiable  man,  more  modest  and  quiet 
than  otherwise.  Mr.  Hopkins  would  entertain  a  crowd;  Mr.  Wilson 
would  sit  aside  and  chat  in  monosyllables.  The  choice  by  Churches  of 
succeeding  pastors  is  one  of  the  curiosities  of  humanity.  Mr.  Wilson 
was  pastor  from  April,  1844,  to  May,  1852,  more  than  eight  years.  The 
second  longest  pastorate  the  Church  has  had.  His  oversight  was  a  con- 
tinuous prosperity.  He  was  one  of  the  men  whom  longer  and  better 
known  won  a  place  in  the  confidence  of  others.  He  was  a  man  to  be 
leaned  upon  and  was  always  found  where  he  ought  to  be. 

Rev.  W.  E.  Corn  well,  Sr.,  entered  on   his  pastoral  duties  in  July, 

1852.  Soon  after  Mr.  Corn  well's  coming,  the  increase  of  congregation 
made  it  necessary  to  build  a  larger  house  of  worship  and  in  February, 

1853,  it  was  decided  to  buy  "a  lot  in  as  central  a  location  as  possible." 
The  lot  on  which  the  First  Baptist  Church  edifice  stands  was  bought  the 
next  October.  A  decision  not  to  build  until  two-thirds  of  the  cost  was 
subscribed,  delayed  the  enterprise  until  June,  1854.  Pastor  Cornwell's 
happy  pastorate,  aboimding  in  good  to  the  Church  and  to  the  cause  of 
God,  lasted  only  four  j'ears,  to  July,  1856.  He  had  been  a  minister 
many  years  in  the  German  Reformed  Church,  preparing  a  sermon  on 


baptism,  he  failed  to  find  in  the  Scripture  authority  for  sprinkling  as  a 
mode  of  baptism  and  for  infant  baptism,  and  joined  a  Baptist  Church. 
Accepting  a  call  to  Princeton,  he  died  there  March  29th,  1857.  His 
successor  was  J.  S.  Kennard,  who  settled  in  January,  1857.  He  had 
been  ordained  in  his  home  Church  the  December  before.  On  September 
23rd,  1857,  the  new  house  of  worship  was  dedicated.  Mr.  Kennard 
resigned  his  charge  in  September,  1859. 

Rev.  J.  F.  Brown  succeeded  him  and  continued  until  March,  1868. 
The  Civil  War  had  begun  and  ended  in  these  years.  Homes,  families, 
parents,  sons  and  brothers  were  divided  A  nation  of  common  origin, 
allied  in  trade,  intercourse,  relationship,  government  and  in  natural 
interests  warred  upon  itself.  Religious  interests  suffered  more  than  any 
other.  Pastor  Brown  was  a  patriot  in  all  this  test  of  character  and  of 
principle.  In  his  pastorate  the  name  of  the  Church  was  changed  from 
Second  Cohansie  to  First  Baptist  Church  of  Bridgeton.  The  Pearl  street 
property  that  had  been  given  to  the  First  Baptist  Church  and  used  by 
them  for  twenty-nine  years  was  being  encompassed  by  a  large  popula- 
tion among  whom  were  many  Baptists,  and  the  question  of  a  second 
Baptist  Church  to  occupy  the  old  house  was  freely  discussed  until  on 
July  17th,  1866,  the  subject  having  been  decided,  sixty-six  Baptists 
were  dismissed  for  this  purpose,  and  were  recognized  as  a  Baptist 
Church  and  called  themselves  the  Pearl  street  Baptist  Church. 

This  was  the  second  Church  which  had  colonized  from  First  Bridge- 
ton.  In  1856,  the  Cedarville  Baptists  who  were  from  location  identified 
with  Baptists  interests  in  Bridgeton,  became  an  independent  body. 
Pastor  Brown  was  associated  with  other  Baptist  movements  in  South 
Jersey.  Two  movements  had  been  made  in  Salem  to  found  a  Baptist 
school.  Again  the  matter  was  under  advisement  and  Mr.  Brown  was 
chainnan  of  a  committee  of  the  West  New  Jersey  Association,  in  1865, 
to  locate  a  school.  The  school  was  located  at  Bridgeton  and  is  known 
as  the  South  Jersey  Institute. 

Mr.  Brown  was  followed  March  1st,  1872,  by  Rev.  E.  B.  Palmer. 
Mr.  Palmer  was  pastor  twelve  years.  The  longest  pastorate  the  Church 
has  had.  A  work  of  grace  was  enjoyed  in  the  winter  of  1872-3  when 
ninety-two  were  baptized  and  twenty-five  were  baptized  at  Pearl  Street 
Church.  A  sister  in  the  Church  gave  to  it  a  dwelling  house  that  cost 
sixteen  hundred  and  fifty  dollars.  Another  paid  for  the  lot  on  which 
the  brick  chapel,  had  been  built.  Two  were  licensed  to  preach  in  this 
pastorate.  One,  Mr.  C.  Keller,  with  his  fellow  German  members  united 
in  a  request  to  organize  them  into  a  mission.  Their  wish  was  complied 
with  and  they  used  the  chapel.  On  account  of  removals,  the  mi-ssion  failed. 
November  6th,  the  First  Church  paid  the  debt  of  Pearl  Street  Church, 


incurred  by  needed  repairs.  Altogether  Pastor  Palmers  '  oversiglit  was 
characteristic  of  the  man,  a  workman  that  needed  not  to  be  ashamed. 
He  resigned  in  May,  1884,  In  their  letter  to  the  Association,  the  Church 
said:  "By  his  wise  councils  and  superior  ability,  by  his  faithful  devo- 
tion to  this  work  in  a  pasorate  of  more  than  twelve  years,  the  Church 
has  been  greatly  strengthened  both  in  temporalities  and  in  spirituali- 
ties." An  Anglo-Africo  Church  was  formed  about  1887,  but  did  not 
stay  long. 

Kev.  T.  G.  Cass  followed  Mr.  Palmer  and  was  pastor  from  1885-90. 
For  seven  years  from  1891  to  1898  Rev.  C.  C.  Tilley  ministered  to  the 
Church.  In  June,  1898,  Rev.  R.  A.  Ashworth  became  pastor,  resigning 
in  April,  1900.  The  next  July,  1900,  Rev.  C.  T.  Brownell  entered  the 

Fourteen  pastors  have  ministered  to  the  Church,  of  whom,  one  died 
while  pastor;  one  served  twelve  years,  another  eight  years.  Early  in 
1831,  under  the  charge  of  Mr.  Harrison,  the  Church  adopted  a  pledge  of 
total  abstinence  from  all  intoxicants  as  a  condition  to  membership. 
All  the  pastors  of  Cohansie,  except,  it  may  be,  Mr.  Brooks,  were  staunch 
Calvinists  and  the  Bridgeton  Church  was,  therefore,  foremost  in  whole- 
some Calvinistic  truth,  God  a  Sovereign;  man  fallen  and  lost,  and  under 
condemnation;  salvation  unmerited  and  wholly  of  grace,  the  highest 
inspiration  to  "good  works"  and  to  perseverance. 

Their  doctrinal  training  explains  the  foremost  place  New  Jersey 
Baptists  hold  in  education,  missions  and  all  other  good  causes.  Not 
only  those  of  New  Jersey ,  but  those  of  every  Christian  name  and  every- 
where. As  Bancroft  says:  "Calvinism  has  been  the  faith  of  those" 
who  have  originated  and  pushed  forward  the  enterprises  of  this  Christian 

The  original  constituents  of  Cohansie  Church  located  in  what  was 
known  as  "back  neck".  Coming  from  Ireland,  there  were  Welsh 
among  them  as  such  names  as  David  James  and  David  Thomas  indi- 
dicate.  They  removed  from  the  South  side  of  the  Cohansie  river  to  the 
North  side  and  were  the  constitutency  of  Cohansie  Church  in  1690. 
Thus  the  north  side  of  the  river  was  known  as  the  Baptist  side,  and 
the  south  side  of  it  as  the  Presbyterian  side.  One  hundred  and 
fifty  years  passed  ere  there  was  a  change  in  the  quiet  of  the  south 
side  by  a  Baptist  mission  at  Cedarville. 

Nathan  Lorrance,  of  Cedarville,  had  been  a  Presbyterian,  but, 
becoming  a  Baptist,  built  a  meeting  house.  He  died  in  1754  and  his 
"will"  gave  his  property  to  his  daughter,  excepting  "all  that  messuage 
called  Flying  Point,  save  one  acre,  where  the  Baptist  meeting  house 
now  standeth,  when  the  Baptist  members  that  liveth  on  the  South  side 


of  the  Cohansic  creek  shall  see  fit  to  take  it."  They  to  pay  a  certain 
sum  to  two  of  his  daughters.  This  daughter  was  Abigal  Elmer,  grand- 
mother of  Lucius  Elmer,  a  historian  of  Cumberland  county.  Mr. 
Lorrance's  daughter  married  the  son  of  a  Presbyterian  minister.  Bap- 
tists did  not  make  a  claim  on  the  meeting  house  and  it  and  the  lot  were 
sold  under  the  Elmer  title  in  1828.  Judge  Elmer  in  his  history  of  the 
county,  devotes  large  space  to  a  Presbyterian  preacher  in  that  county 
named  Osborn.  But  dismisses  Henry  Smalley,  pastor  of  Cohansie 
Baptist  Church  for  nearly  fifty  years,  the  oldest  Church  in  the  county 
into  which  Mr.  Smalley  had  received  seven  hundred  and  fifty  persons, 
iviih  less  than  a  line  of  print.  So  much  for  pedobaptist  prejudices,  and 
the  reliabilty  of  Presbyterian  histories  out  side  of  themselves.  "Schaff 
&  Herzog's  encyclopedia"  is  another  illustration  of  how  much  pedobap- 
tists  think  of  themselves  and  how  little  of  Baptists. 

In  1835,  Rev.  Mr.  Frederick,  pastor  of  the  First  Baptist  Church  at 
Bridgeton,  preached  at  Cedarville,  making  an  appointment  on  alternate 
weeks.  In  1836,  he  baptized  numerous  candidates  there,  they  uniting 
with  the  First  Bridgeton  Church.  The  Cedarville  Baptist  Church  was 
constituted  on  September  6th,  1836,  in  Butler  Newcomb's  woods  and 
had  thirty-one  constituents.  In  Cedarville,  was  a  "free"  meeting  house 
and  there  Mr.  Frederick  held  his  meeting  in  weather  unfit  for  outdoor 
service.  But  when  the  converts  developed  Baptist  proclivities,  the 
Presbyterians  closed  the  doors  of  the  "free"  house  of  worship.  Then, 
the  Baptists  secured  an  old  shoe  maker's  shop,  about  twelve  by  eighteen 
feet  and  held  their  meetings  in  it.  A  Sheriff's  sale  threw  a  lot  into  the 
market  which  Mr.  Lorrance  had  intended  to  give  for  a  Baptist  house  of 
worship,  but  which  after  his  death  was  otherwise  disposed  of.  The 
lot  had  a  short  time  before  been  sold  for  fourteen  dollars,  but  the 
Presbyterian  opposition  to  Baptists  made  it  cost  them  two  hundred 

Providentially,  the  woods'  meeting  in  1836  brought  Mr.  E.  D. 
Fendall  to  Cedarville.  He  was  induced  to  stay  and  held  the  meeting  for 
three  months.  Still  he  delayed  going  away  until  February,  1837.  In 
the  temporary  absence  of  Mr.  Fendall  from  the  field,  Mr.  William  H. 
Bingham  filled  the  gap  until  January,  1838.  Returning,  Mr.  P'endall 
was  ordained  in  1839  and  remained  four  years  till  December,  1842.  A 
house  of  worship  was  erected  in  1838.  Mr.  Henry  Wescott  was  a  resi- 
dent and  being  ordained  in  18-42,  ministered  in  that  year,  in  part  and 
was  pastor  from  March,  1843,  to  June,  1844.  Mr.  Ephraim  Sheppard 
and  a  brother-in-law  followed  preaching  at  Millville  and  at  Cedarville. 
Each  of  these  pastors  were  independent  of  the  salary  the  Church  could 
pay.     Pastor  Sheppard  remained  until  1846. 


Other  pastors  were  William  P.  Maul,  1847-53;  John  Todd,  lSr)3-.'37; 
the  last  serving  both  Millville  and  Cedarville,  each  ten  miles  distant 
from  the  other.  Mr.  Todd  walked  to  and  fro.  At  Cedarville,  while 
Mr.  Todd  was  pastor  the  debt  of  the  Church  was  paid,  the  Church 
edifice  repaired  and  a  parsonage   bought  and  nearly  paid  for. 

In  those  days.  Baptist  Churches  were  far  apart,  the  Convention 
Board  appointed  missionaries  with  a  roving  commission  to  large  and 
destitute  districts.  Mr.  Todd  was  assigned  a  field  stretching  from  Cape 
May  to  Long  Branch,  and  west  to  the  edge  of  "The  Pines." 

This  region  was  nearly  an  "unknown  land."  A  vast  wilderness, 
nearly  an  hundred  miles  long  and  forty  wide.  Thousands  of  people 
were  scattered  through  it.  Mr.  Todd  was  sent  to  carry  them  the  "mes- 
sage of  life,"  going  on  foot  from  cabin  to  cabin,  and  from  one  cluster  of 
homes  to  another.  I  recall  one  of  his  verbal  reports  to  the  Board.  How 
and  where  he  slept  at  times.  Once  he  asked  a  family  if  they  believed  in 
Jesus,  and  had  for  an  answer:  "Who  is  he?"  Another  replied 
to  the  queston :  "If  they  had  a  Bible?"  "What  is  that?"  Few  could 
have  endured  the  hardships  and  exposures  of  his  long  and  lonely  tramps, 
not  knowing  in  the  morning  where  he  might  be  at  night.  Some  times 
he  trampled  all  day,  not  seeing  or  human  face,  and  then  slept 
under  the  trees,  contenting  himself  with  the  crust  which  he  carried  for 
an  emergency,  and  with  water  of  a  spring  or  brook.  His  sturdy  English 
body  stood  him  in  good  stead.  His  faith  in  God  and  love  for  souls  held 
him  firmly  to  his  Christ-like  work.  I  doubt  not  but  that  he  has  met  in 
Heaven,  many  who,  but  for  him,  would  never  have  heard  of  the  Saviour. 
Mr.  Todd  was  a  godly  and  true  man.  Caring  more  to  do  good  than  for 
personal  comfort.  An  example  of  the  host  of  the  good  and  useful,  of 
whom  the  world  never  hears,  but  who  will  be  among  the  chiefest  of  the 
Saints  on  high. 

There  were  other  devoted  men  whom  the  Convention  sent  out. 
commissioned  to  range  freely  in  wide  destitute  sections;  men  "who  en- 
dured as  seeing  Him  who  is  invisible,"  who  lighted  "the  lamp  of  life"  in 
many  a  dark  place  laying  the  foundations  on  which  those  who  came  on 
later  built. 

Additional  pastors  at  Cedarville  were:  E.  D.  Farr,  M.  D.,  1858-60; 
S.  L.  Cox,  1681-83;  E.  M.  Barker,  1863-70  (The  longest  pastorate  the 
Church  had  knoAvn  and  one  of  marked  advance.  The  Church  edifice 
was  moved  to  the  front  of  the  lot  and  enlarged);  G.  G.  Craft,  1871-72; 
W.  A.  Durfee,  1872-77  (A  new  Church  edifice  was  built  under  Pastor 
Durfee.);  a  period  of  depression  followed  one  of  expansion  and  Pastor 
Swinden,  1878-79,  realized  what  it  was  to  stem  the  ebb  tide. 


A  change  came  with  Pastor  W.  W.  Bullock.  Discord  yielded  to 
unity.  A  heavy  debt  was  paid  and  revival  blessings  appeared.  Mr. 
Bullock  was  pastor,  1880-84;  Mr.  T.  P.  Price  ministered,  1884-88;  Mr. 
A.  S.  Flock,  1888-95  (A  useful  charge  for  seven  years.);  Mr.  H.  S.  Kidd, 
1895-98;  Mr.  W.  T.  Pullen,  1898-1900. 

The  Church  has  had  sixteen  pastors.  But  one  of  them  remained 
eight  years.  A  house  of  worship  was  built  in  1838,  which  has  been  en- 
larged and  improved  as  it  needed  to  be.  In  1874,  a  large  and  costly 
house  of  worship  was  dedicated.  Heavy  debts  were  incurred  and  the 
only  trouble  the  Church  has  suffered  was  incurred.  Two  members  have 
been  licensed,  one  in  1842,  and  is  now  an  active  pastor  nearly  or  quite 
ninety  years  old  and  has  been  preaching  sixty-one  years. 

The  house  of  worship  on  Pearl  street,  Bridgeton,  which  gives  its 
name  to  the  Pearl  Street  Baptist  Church,  was  built  in  1816  by  the  Co- 
hansie  Church  and  was  the  place  of  the  ministry  of  Henry  Smalley  for 
twelve  years  and  the  home  of  the  First  Baptist  Bridgeton  Church  for 
twent3'-nine  years,  is  still  a  home  of  a  Baptist  Church,  having  been  stead- 
ily in  use  for  eighty-seven  years.  A  colony  of  sixty-six  members  were 
dismissed  by  First  Baptist  Church  to  worship  in  the  Pearl  Street  house 
and  that  body  called  itself  Pearl  Street  Baptist  Church.  Rev.  W.  R. 
McNeil  became  pastor  in  1867  and  the  membership  grew  to  two  hundred. 

The  old  house  was  rebuilt  in  1868.  The  debt  incurred  by  this 
repair  was  largely  paid  by  the  First  Church.  Pastor  McNeil  resigned 
in  1872  and  Rev.  B.  S.  Morse  followed  the  same  year  closing  his  work  as 
pastor  in  1874.  In  1875,  Pastor  A.  B.  McGowan  settled  as  pastor, 
remaining  till  1878,  when  Rev.  J.  E.  Ches.shire  followed,  who  retired 
the  next  year,  1879.  Rev.  S.  C.  Dare  became  pastor  in  1880,  serving 
until  1884.  Rev.  T.  R.  Taylor  began  his  charge  in  1884.  An  Anglo- 
Africo  Church  was  begun  by  the  joint  action  of  the  two  Churches  in 
1886  or  1887.  Mr.  Taylor  closed  his  pastorate  in  1887.  In  July,  1887, 
Mr.  McNeil  began  his  second  pastorate,  which  he  ended  in  June,  1891. 
The  same  year.  Rev.  C.  E.  Cordo  settled  as  pastor  and  resigned  in  1895. 
Three  months  after.  Rev.  E.  A.  Stone  became  pastor,  but  closed  his 
ministry  in  1899  and  on  January,  1900,  Rev.  F.  H.  Shermer  entered  the 

The  Church  has  had  ten  pastors  in  thirty-four  years  of  its  life. 
But  one  remained  five  years  and  one  was  twice  pa.stor.  Two  members 
have  been  licensed  to  preach.  Inheriting  an  old  Church  edifice  that 
had  been  unused  for  some  years,  a  large  sum  was  necessary  to  restore  it 
and  to  add  to  it  modern  conveniences  and  appliances,  adapting  the 
building  to  the  uses  of  Christian  work.  A  large  proportion  of  this 
amount  the  First  Baptist  Church  provided. 


The  Berean  Church  at  Bridgeton  was  organized  in  August,  1893, 
with  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  constituents.  Nearly  all  of  them 
were  dismissed  from  the  First  Baptist  Church.  The  next  November, 
Rev.  J.  J.  Pierson  was  called  and  became  pastor.  Immediate  measures 
were  adopted  to  build  a  house  of  worship,  which  was  dedicated  in  June, 

Under  Mr.  Pierson,  large  accessions  by  baptism  and  by  letter  were 
made.  The  First  Baptist  Church  donated  to  the  Berean  Church,  a 
parsonage,  equipping  the  Church  for  a  larger  work.  Mr.  Pierson  had  a 
short  pastorate,  dying  on  January  18th,  1895,  within  two  years  of  enter- 
ing the  pastorate.  Previously  he  had  been  pastor  at  Woodbury  twelve 
years.  His  people  said  of  him:  "He  served  us  faithfully,  lovingly  and 
tenderly."  On  June  11th,  1895,  Rev.  G.  L.  Hart  settled  as  pastor.  The 
rapid  growth  of  the  Church  since  its  organization,  in  membership,  has 
continued  in  the  years  of  Pastor  Hart. 

Greenwich  is  on  the  west  side  of  the  Cohansie  river  and  south  of 
Roadstown,  the  site  of  the  Cohansie  Baptist  Church.  The  removal  of 
the  early  Baptist  settlers  to  the  other  side  of  the  Cohansie  river,  located 
them  nearer  to  Greenwich,  which  was  one  of  the  outstations  of  Cohansie 
Church.  Rev.  E.  D.  Fendall  had  business  relations  to  the  place  that 
took  him  there  in  1836  and  he  made  appointment  to  preach  in  the  school 
house.  A  temporary  residence  in  the  town  identified  him  with  the 
Baptist  movement  in  Cedarville,  in  1836-8.  Becoming  pastor  at  Cohan- 
sie, in  18-43,  special  revival  influences  reached  "Bacon's  Neck."  (An 
early  name,  from  an  early  settler.)  The  converts  united  with  Cohansie 
Church  at  Roadstown. 

In  1843,  a  house  of  worship  was  begun.  It  was  dedicated  the  next 
October.  Regular  services  were  held  in  this  house  for  five  years,  by. 
pastors  of  Cohansie  Church.  Then,  in  December,  1849,  the  Greenwich 
Baptist  Church  was  organized  with  forty-nine  constituents.  Of  these, 
forty-eight  were  dismissed  from  Cohansie  Church.  A  reorganization  is 
said  to  have  been  made  next  January.  Rev.  J.  R.  Murphey  was  the 
first  pastor,  until  September,  1852.  He  was  followed  by  Rev.  George 
Young  for  a  year;  when  Rev.  H.  C.  Putman  settled  and  stayed  till  1857. 
Rev.  William  Maul  became  pastor  and  remained  for  almost  nine  years. 
Other  pastors  were:  A.  J.  Hay,  three  years;  S.  C.  Dare,  ten  years; 
T.  M.  Eastwood,  two  years;  J.  M.  Scott,  four  years;  W.  H.  Burlew, 
one  year;  W.  P.  Hile,  three  years;  E.  I.  McKeeycr,  four  years;  B.  B. 
Ware,  two  years;  W.  E.  Renolds,  1900.  Thirteen  pastors  have  filled 
the  office. 

In  1874,  under  Mr.  Dare,  the  house  of  worship  was  remodeled  and 
furnished  anew.  One  member  has  been  licensed  to  preach.  The  nar- 


row  field  and  the  probable  limitation  of  residents  narrows  the  hope  of 
a  large  membership.  Nevertheless,  the  people  are  reliable  and  include 
elements  of  strength  and  companionship. 



HOPEWELL    IN    1715,    KINGWOOD    L\    1742, 
FLEMIXGTON    IN    1798. 

Hopewell  is  a  colony  of  Middletown  Chiirch.  Some  of  its  constit- 
uents were  from  Pencpack  Church,  Pcmisyhania.  Morgan  Edwards 
explains  and  says  of  Jonathan  Stout,  third  son  of  Richard  Stout,  of 
Holmdel,  a  constituent  of  Middletown  Church  and  who  emigrated  from 
Middletown  (Holmdel)  in  1706,  the  first  settler  of  Hopewell,  that  "six 
of  his  children  are  said  to  have  gone  to  Pennsylvania  for  baptism,  others 
were  baptized  here  (Hopewell),  in  aU  seven."  These  seven,  and  the  six, 
and  their  father  and  mother,  fifteen  were  the  constituents  of  Hopewel 

The  Cliurch  was  organized  at  Mr.  Stout's  house,  April  23rd,  1715, 
and  worshipped  for  thirtj'-two  years  in  the  homes  of  the  Stouts.  The 
first  meeting  house  was  built  in  1747,  on  a  lot,  the  gift  of  John  Hart, 
Efeq.  Rev.  Oliver  Hart  was  pastor.  In  1790,  the  pastor  said:  "That 
from  first  to  last  half  of  the  members  had  been  of  that  name  (Stout)  and 
about  as  many  more  of  the  blood  of  the  Stouts,  who  had  lost  their 
name  by  marriage."  The  mother  of  Jonathan,  Penelope  Stout,  of 
Middletown,  lived  to  be  one  hundred  and  ten  years  old,  and  saw  her 
descendants  to  the  number  of  five  hundred  and  two  in  eighty-eight  3'ears. 
These  Baptists  were  Baptists.  They  went  to  Penepack,  a  long  distance, 
to  join  a  Baptist  Cliurch  rather  than  violate  their  convictions  of  truth 
and  duty.  Evidently  to  them  fellowship  wnth  error  was  something  more 
than  feeling.  Doubt  overhangs  the  early  ministry  at  Hopewell,  both 
at  to  who  they  were  and  as  to  the  time  of  their  ser\-ices.  IMr.  Edwards 
only  names  Messrs.  Simmons  and  Eaglesfield,  licentiates  as  preaching 
in  the  earliest  times. 

Kingwood  Church  had  been  organized  and  had  built  two 
houses  of  worship  before  1712.  TMiile  Hopewell  had  not  built  its  own, 
as  stated  by  Mr.  Edwards  and  he  adds  "that  Rev.  Joseph  Eaton,  of 
Pennsvivania,  preached  montlily  at  HopeweU  for  fifteen  years.  After 
him.  Rev.  Thomas  Da\^s,  of  Great  Valley,  Pennsylvania,  was  pastor  for 
years  and  Rev.  Mr.  Carmen  of  Hightsto^-n,  Rev.  Mr.  Miller,  of  Scotch 
Plains,  and  Mr.  Bonham  for  two  years.  "Glorious  years  were  they, 
fiftv'-five  converts  joined  the  Church  and  a  meeting  house  was  built." 
Thirty-three  years  had  gone  when  Rev.  Isaac  Eaton  settled  as  pastor. 


in  April  17th,  1874,  and  was  ordained  on  November  29th,  1748.  His 
pastorate  continued  until  July  4th,  1772,  when  he  died  in  his  forty- 
seventh  year. 

Of  Mr.  Eaton,  Mr.  Edwards  writes:  "He  was  the  son  of  the  afore- 
mentioned Joseph  Eaton,  of  Montgomery,  Pennsylvania,  and  united 
with  the  South  Hampton  Church  in  early  life  and  there  commenced  a 
licentiate  in  Divinity,  at  the  same  time  with  Mr.  Oliver  Hart.  He  and 
Mr.  I.  Eaton  were  buried  in  the  meeting  house  (at  Hopewell).  At  the 
head  of  his  grave,  close  to  the  base  of  the  pulpit,  is  set  up  by  his  congre- 
gation a  piece  of  fine  marble  with  this  inscription: 

To  the  front  of  this  are  Deposited  the  Remains 
of  the  Rev.  Isaac  Eaton,  A.  M.,  who,  for  upwards 
of  twenty-six  years,  was  pastor  of  this  church;  from 
the  care  of  which  he  was  removed  by  death,  on  the 
4th  of  July,  1772,  in  the  47th  year  of  his  age. 

In  him,  with  grace  and  emineniie,  did  shine 
The  man,  the  Christian,  scholar,  and  divine. 
His  funeral  sermon  was  preached  by  Rev.  Samuel  Jones,  who  speaks  of 
him  to  the  following  effect:  (Which  I  choose  to  transcribe  partly 
for  fear  my  affection  would  lead  me  to  extravagence  and  partly  because 
I  cannot  do  the  business  well.)  "The  natural  endowments  of  his  mind 
the  improvements  of  these  by  the  accomplishments  of  literature;  his 
early  and  genuine  piety;  his  ability  aa  a  divine  and  a  preacher;  his  ex- 
tensive knowledge  of  men  and  books;  his  Catholicism  would  afford  scope 
to  flourish  in  a  funeral  oration,  etc.,  but  it  is  needless."  When  it  is 
recalled  who  Rev.  Samuel  Jones  was  and  who  the  Rev.  Isaac  Eaton  was, 
these  were  not  words  of  extravagent  laudation. 

"Mr.  Eaton  founded  the  first  school  on  the  continent  for 
the  education  of  youths  for  the  ministry."  "Rev.  Messrs.  Thomas 
Curtis,  John  Anderson,  Joseph  Powell,  John  Blackwell,  Charles  Thomp- 
son, John  Gano,  born  in  Hopewell,  July  22nd,  1727."  The  writer 
copied  these  items  from  the  old  minute  book  of  First  Hopewell.  John 
Gano  called  to  exercise  his  gifts  November  19,  1752,  and  did  so  on 
January  20th,  1753;  licensed  April  14th,  1753;  ordained  May  29th,  1754. 
Hezekiah  Smith,  the  Baptist  Apostle  to  New  England,  licensed  October 
12th,  17G2.  James  Manning,  founder  of  Brown  University,  and  John 
Sutton,  his  co-worker  in  locating  Brown  University.  Other  men  also 
foremost  in  politics,  law,  merchandise,  cabinet  councils  and  military 
affairs  were  graduates  of  Hopewell  school  which  was  founded  in  1756. 
It  was  a  foremost  center  of  education  and  it  was  an  extreme  of  folly  to 
remove  it  to  Rhode  Island.  The  denoniination  has  suffered  irreparable 
losses  by  its  closing. 


Mr.  Eaton  was  one  of  the  worlds'  great  men;  not  alone  in  his  nat- 
ural endowments  and  culture,  but  as  much  in  the  appreciation  of  the 
claims  of  the  future  upon  him  and  of  his  relations  to  that  future.  His 
forecast  in  founding  a  school  of  universal  qualities,  and  also,  his  choice  of 
location,  the  heart  of  the  country,  the  center  of  its  wealth  and  of  its 
social  forces,  amid  the  men  of  the  only  Baptist  Association  in  the  coun- 
try and  in  a  colony  of  the  largest  liberties,  having  guarantees  in  its  sett- 
lers, "Friends"  and  Baptists,  unlike  other  colonies.  Mr.  Eaton's  wife 
was  "Rebecca  Stout"  and  she  may  have  influenced  his  coming  to  the 
church  where  his  father  had  ministered  so  long. 

Morgan  Edwards  is  quoted  anew;  "There  have  been  remarkable 
revivals  in  this  church.  In  1747,  fifty-five  were  baptized;  in  1764,  one 
hundred  and  twenty-three  converts  were  added  and  in  1775-6,  one  hun- 
dred and  five  united  with  the  church.  A  parsonage  lot  in  1773  and 
additional  land  for  the  parsonage  farm  increasing  it  to  one  hundred  and 
thirty-three  acres."  This  was  in  the  American  Revolutionary  war,  and 
indicates  ample  "means."  Since  the  church  has  deserted  the  Gospel  of 
grace,  the  church  has  lost  ground.  Some  of  its  best  families  have  gone 
into  other  denominations  and  instead  of  being  a  fruitful  mother,  en- 
compassed liy  efficient  churches,  lives  alone,  barren,  a  stone  of  stiunbling 
and  a  sorrow  to  every  evangelical  churcli  of  the  kingdom  of  God;  deny- 
ing itself  any  of  the  activities  of  Godliness  among  the  children  which  it 
has  disfellowshipped.  Nevertheless,  Hopewell  is  historic  ground,  a  Bap- 
tist "Mecca." 

Just  across  the  street  in  front  of  the  church  edifice,  there  stood  a 
mounting  block,  consisting  of  a  large  stone  six  feet  long,  four  feet  wide, 
set  on  .stone  mason  work  three  feet  high,  used  especially  by  ladies  in  dis- 
mounting and  mounting  their  horses  as  they  came  to  or  left  church. 
The  top  of  the  stone  was  reached  by  steps. 

Sunday,  April  23,  1775,  news  of  the  battle  of  Lexington  reached 
Hopewell  while  the  peoplewere  worshipping  in  the  First  Baptist  Church. 
At  the  close,  Joab  Houghton,  standing  on  this  block,  inspired  the  men 
with  love  of  liberty  and  desire  for  independence.     In  closing  he  said: 

"Men  of  New  Jersey,  the  Red  Coats  are  murdering  our  brethren  of 
New  England.     Who  follows  me  to  Boston?" 

Every  man  an.swered  "I!" 

Mr.  Houghton  was  chosen  leader  of  a  party  of  volunteers  who  later 
left  for  Boston,  the  scene  of  the  war. 

October  19,  1776,  he  was  made  a  captain,  and  March  15,  1777,  Lieu- 
tenant Colonel.  Colonel  Houghten  was  afterwards  a  member  of  the 
first  Legislature  of  the  State  in  1784  and  1787,  and  also  of  the  Baptist 
Church.     Died,  1796. 


"As  a  luoinorial  of  him  ami  those  events,  this  block  was  erected 
July  Uh.  1S'.)0,  by  the  people  of  Hopewell." 

The  block  was  dressei.1  in  evergreen,  anil  vipon  it  rested  a  beauti- 
ful wreath  of  inunortelles,  the  gift  of  Mrs.  D.  S.  Davis,  a  lineal  desceml- 
ant  of  .lohu  Hart. 

Houghton's  daughter  Alice,  married  Conant  Cone,  and  became  the 
mother  of  Spencer  Houghton  Cone,  born  in  Son^erset  county,  who  was 
in  turn,  teacher,  actor,  soldier  in  the  war  of  1S12,  editor,  and  finally  be- 
came a  distinguished  Baptist  minister  in  America  in  his  time. 

Here  in  Hopewell  lived  that  distinguished  benefactress,  Elizabeth 
Hobbs,  who  gave  £350  (,$1,750)  for  the  education  of  pious  young  men 
for  the  ministry.  This  was  supposed  at  the  time  to  be  the  largest  legacy 
left  by  anyone  for  this  purpose  in  the  Baptist  ilenomination.  Isaac 
Eaton  and  John  Hart,  signers  of  the  Declaration  of  Imlependenee,  were 
her  executors,  and  they  aided,  out  of  this  fimd,  Charles  Thompson,  wlm 
graduated  in  a  class  of  Rhode  Island  College. 

These  arc  memorials  of  this  couple  in  the  grave  yard  at  Hopewell: 

In  memory  of  John  Hobbs,  who  departed  this  life  June  G,  in  1701 .  in 
the  S5th  year  of  his  age.  He  was  a  great  Historian  and  Mathema- 
tician, and  a  pious,  meek,  humble,  and  exemplary  Christian. 

In  memory  of  Eli/.abetli  Hobbs,  widow  of  John  Hobbs,  who  died 
March  20,  1707,  aged  u pirardii  of  SO  years.  She  left  a  handsome  legacy 
towards  the  education  of  pious  young  men  for  tlie  ministry  of  tlie  Bap- 
tist denomination. 

Burgess  Allison,  founder  of  Bordentown  school,  w^as  a  beneficiary 
of  this  fund.  He  graduated  from  Brown  University  and  opened  school 
at  Borilentown  in  177S.  He  was  a  Baptist  pastor  at  Jacobstown 
church  for  twenty-five  years. 

From  Hopewell  graduateil  many  of  tlie  foremost  ministers  of  tlie 
Baptist  ilenomination.  From  Bordentown  school  also,  came  some  of 
our  eminent  pastors.  These  schools  were  also  throngeil  by  profes- 
sioniil  men  as  well  as  prospective  clergymen.  They  included  various 
courses  of  study.  Mr.  lOdwards  gives  the  names  of  graduates,  eminent 
in  position  imder  the  government ,  in  law,  in  medicine,  and  merehan- 
di.<ie.  Years  passed  ere  Ueverend  Benjamin  Cole  settled  at  Hopewell 
in  Octoln-r,  1771.  while  pastor  the  third  great  re\  ival  oeeurred  and 
one  hundred  and  live  converts  were  baptized.  Mr.  Cole  resigned  in 
the  spring  of  1770. 

Kev.  Oliver  Hart  followed  in  December,  17S0.  lie  may  have 
been  one  of  the  Hopewell  Hart  family.  Ho  was  a  fellow  student 
with  Isaac  F^aton  and  was  licensed  by  the  same  church  and  began 
preaching  as  had  Mr.  Eaton.     Mr.  Hart  going  to  Charleston,  S.  C,  and 


was  pastor  there  for  thirty  years.  He  remained  pastor  at  Hopewell 
till  his  death  in  1795,  at  the  age  of  seventy-three  years.  Mr.  Edwards 
writes  of  him:  "All  I  shall  .say  is,  that  he  is  the  fittest  man  I  know  to 
succeed  Mr.  Eaton."  The  minutes  of  the  Philadelphia  .Association, 
1706,  page  323,  have  this  record  of  Mr.  Hart:  "It  has  plea.sed  God,  in 
the  year  past  to  remove  that  burning  and  shining  light,  Rev.  Oliver 
Hart  of  Hopewell,  X.  J." 

In  1796,  Rev.  James  Ewing  followed  Mr.  Hart  in  the  charge  of 
Hopewell  church.  His  pastorate  terminated  with  his  death  in  1806,  at 
the  ago  of  fifty-two  years.  One  hundred  and  fifty-one  were  baptized 
in  his  pastorate  at  Hopewell.  In  1807,  Rev.  John  Boggs  became  pa.stor. 
He  held  the  office  till  he  died  in  1846,  at  the  age  of  seventy-six. 

The  account  of  First  Hopewell  might  close  here;  since  in  1835, 
First  and  Second  Hopewell  and  Kingwood  withdrew  from  the  central 
Baptist  As.sociation,  identifying  them.selves  with  an  Antinomian  body. 
Kingwood  is  followed  by  Baptisttown.  Second  Hopewell  and  Kingwood 
are  extinct.  Kingwood  was  pre-eminent  among  Baptist  churches  as  a 
Missionary  church.  It  is  only  a  question  of  time,  when  First  Hopewell 
will  be  extinct.  This  wreck  was  under  the  pa.storate  of  Mr.  Boggs. 
He  had  written  circular  letters  published  in  the  Association  minutes, 
exhorting  the  churches  to  sustain  missions,  only  a  short  time  before  he 
piloted  the  church  to  ruin.  He  was  a  terrific  contrast  to  former  pastors 
An  only  explanation  of  his  course  was:  that  he  had  come  to  a  premature 
dotage  and  by  his  imbecUity  belied  his  former  teaching,  and  the  whole 
record  of  First  Hopewell  and  accepted  the  teachings  of  Beebe,  Gobel  and 
their  kin,  in  the  place  of  those  of  the  Son  of  God,  whose  last  words  on 
earth  were:  "Go  ye  into  all  the  world.  And  they  went  forth  and  preached 
everywhere."  Such  is  the  sorrowful  fact  of  First  Hopewell  church. 
Virtually  it  is  the  only  one  of  its  kind,  left  in  New  Jersey.  Nominally 
there  are  one  or  two  others  sustained  by  First  Hopewell. 

But  despite  its  glorious  record,  for  sixty-five  years,  it  has  been 
dwindling.  Churches  of  other  denominations  have  absorbed  its  fami- 
lies and  grown  strong  through  its  lack  of  Gospel  power.  Isaac  Eaton, 
Oliver  Hart,  the  Stouts  and  Hautons  and  Blackwells,  could  they  know 
of  the  ruin  that  has  come  to  the  work  of  their  lives,  would  be  filled  with 
shame.  In  colonial  days  as  many  as  five  of  the  chief  institutions  of 
learning  in  America  were  within  a  circuit  of  twenty  miles  of  Hopewell. 
This  eminence  of  educational  facilities,  and  the  colonial  guarantees  by 
l)oth  Baptist  and  Quaker  proprietors  gave  to  New  Jersey  the  assurance 
to  all  settlers,  of  the  precious  boon  of  civil  and  of  religious  freedom  and 
of  the  freest  opportunity  for  expansion  in  all  helpful  directions.  A 
further  type  of  the  case  of  the  people  in  this  vicinity  is   that   nine 


United  States  Senators;  three  nominees  for  the  Vice  Presidency  of  the 
United  States;  two  Governors  of  New  Jersey:  four  Chancellors  of  the 
State  and  five  signers  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  were 
natives  of  this  neighborhood. 

It  is  the  prayer  of  Baptists  that  the  venerable  First  Hopewell 
church  will  return  to  her  "first  love"  again,  be  happy  in  him  who 
went  about  doing  good.  A  glorious  past,  is  to  her  a  robe  of  white, 
except  as  it  has  been  soiled  by  associations  and  which  darkens  her  future. 
When  again,  she  incorporates  the  last  commission  of  our  Lord  into  her 
activities,  we  will  rejoice  together  in  her  "walking  with  God." 

Of  the  beginning  of  Baptist  interests  at  Kingwood  (Baptisttown) 
Morgan  Edwards,  writes: "  For  the  origin  of  this  church,  we  must  look 
back  to  1722.  When  the  tract  began  to  be  settled  by  persons,  some  of 
whom  were  Baptists;  five  of  them.  Three  other  Baptists  came,  in 
1734.  Mr.  Thomas  Curtis,  a  licentiate  and  a  student  at  Hopewell  (poss- 
ibly a  licentiate  of  Hopewell  church).  At  Kingwood  he  and  the  aforesaid 
Baptists  built  a  small  meeting  house.  The  first  fruits  of  his  ministry 
went  to  Hopewell  for  baptism.  In  17-48,  James  and  John  Bray  and  his 
wife,  members  of  Middletown  (living  at  Holmdel),  sons  of  John  Bray 
who  built  the  third  house  of  worship  and  parsonage  at  Holmdel  in  1705, 
arrived,  which  increased  their  number  to  twelve  souls.  Mr.  Curtis 
visited  the  lower  part  of  the  township  (now  Kingwood)  where  another 
meeting  house  was  built  in  1741  on  the  spot  where  the  present  one 
stands.  Here  five  were  baptized  by  Rev.  Joseph  Eaton  of  Hopewell. 
His  next  converts  in  the  lower  tract  were  baptized  by  Rev.  Thomas 
Davis,  who  succeeded  Mr.  Eaton  at  Hopewell.  This  increased  the 
Baptists  to  twenty-two  and  made  them  think  of  becoming  a  dis- 
tinct society.  Having  obtained  release  from  Hopewell  they  were 
constituted   a  church  July  31st,  1742. 

Mr.  Curtis  was  ordained  for  pastor  October,  1745.  He  died  in 
April,  1749.  Mr.  Edwards  says  of  him:  "He  was  a  steady  man  and  re- 
markable for  peace  making.  This  church  speaks  of  him  to  this  day  (Jan- 
uary, 1790)  -nath  great  veneration."  Well  they  might.  Upon  his 
coming  to  them  he  devoted  himself  to  tlieir  spiritual  welfare.  Preacli- 
ing,  maintaining  meetings  and  building  houses  of  worship.  He  was  a 
devoted  disciple  of  the  Holy  One.  Sabbatarians  and  Dunkards  were 
church  members,  and  as  a  peace  maker  he  must  have  been  busy.  Both 
Seventh  Day  Baptists  and  Dunkards  (feet  washing  Baptists)  had  colo- 
nies nearby  and  were  aggressive  to  win  proselytes.  More,  in  the  seven- 
teenth and  eighteenth  centuries,  new  things  of  doctrine  and  of  opinion 
were  welcomed  by  good  people  as  never  before.  It  was  a  formative 
period.     Luther,  Calvin  and  Armenius  were  making  new  formulas  and 


theories  of  all  kinds  were  mooted  everywhere.  America  was  a  refuge  for 
all  dissentients  from  other  dissentients  and  authorities,  civil  and 
religious.  An  immense  mixture  of  extreemists  and  positive.sts  inxhe 
religionists  coming  hither  and  the  new  element  of  liberty  to  think  and 
to  teach,  tended  to  a  wider  divergence.  Baptists  have  cause  for  grati- 
tude, both,  that  the  New  Testament  was  our  sole  authority  for  duty 
and  for  instruction;  that  our  ministers  could  thereby  command  and 
control  these  elements  of  contradiction  and  settle  the  foundations  of 
our  churches  on  a  scriptural  basis. 

Then  as  now,  liberty  drifted  into  the  license  of  unrestrained  opinion. 
Liberty  of  opinion  is  the  most  lawless  of  human  rights.  Since  it  has 
only  the  moral  limit  of  the  right  to  think  and  to  believe  that  which  it  is 
right  to  think  and  to  believe  and  one  nmst  determine  for  him.self  what 
is  right  to  think  and  to  believe.  The  Scriptures  being  the  only  authority 
on  all  moral  questions  of  right  and  wrong.  Mr.  M.  Bonham  followed 
Pastor  Curtis  and  was  ordained  in  1749.  Rumors  affecting  his  morality 
resulted  in  his  exclusion  from  the  church. 

After  many  years  Rev.  David  Sutton  entered  the  pastorate  in 
in  1764,  remaining  till  August,  1783  and  proved  himself  sent  of  God. 
Morgan  Edwards  says  of  him:  "He  has  often  been  compared  to  Nathan- 
iel of  whom  it  was  said,  there  was  no  guile  in  him.'  "  Mr.  Sutton  was  a 
son  of  John  Sutton,  a  con.stituent  of  Scotch  Plains  church.  He  was  a 
mi.ssionary  pastor.  In  1764,  the  year  of  his  settling  at  Kingwood,  he 
made  an  appointment  at  Flemington  and  no  doubt  influenced  Messrs. 
Lowry  and  Eddy  to  give  in  1765,  (the  next  year)  the  lots  on  which  to 
build  a  Baptist  meeting  house;  he  secured  the  erection  of  the  house  o( 
worship  in  1766,  within  two  j'ears  of  his  coming  to  Kingwood  and  in 
his  long  charge  at  Kingwood,  nearly  twenty  years  preached  in  the 
house  at  Flemington.  He  was  thus  the  first  Baptist  preacher  at  Fleming- 
ton  and  laid  the  foundation  for  the  later  growth  of  Baptist  interests  there. 

Mr.  Sutton's  successors  at  Kingwood  preached  at  Flemington, 
until,  and  long  after  the  organization  of  the  Flemington  church.  That 
body  owes  all  it  is  to  this  wonderful  man.  In  November,  1784,  Rev. 
N.  Cox  settled  as  pastor.  But  in  April,  1790,  he  became  aUniversalist; 
had  he  been  content  with  this,  none  would  question  his  liberty  to  change 
his  views  of  truth  and  duty.  He  did,  however,  what  he  could  to  destroy 
the  church  and  get  possession  of  the  house  of  worship.  The  people 
repudiated  him  and  he  was  excluded  from  the  church. 

The  next  five  years  was  a  period  of  discouragement.  In  October, 
1795,  Rev.  G.  A.  Hunt  became  pastor,  remaining  eleven  years,  when  he 
quietly  disappeared  in  another  evangelical  denomination.  Like  Mr. 
Sutton  and  Mr.  Cox,  Mr.  Hunt  had  a  regular  appomtment  in  Fleming- 


ton,  agreeing  when  he  settled  at  Kingwood  to  give  one  third  of  his  labor 
and  time  to  Flemington.  He  baptized  several  in  Flemington  who  did 
not  join  Kingwood  church  and  in  1798,  ten  members  of  Kingwood, 
with  those  lately  baptized  at  Flemington,  were  organized  into  the 
Flemington  church.  Mr.  Hunt  supplied  the  Flemington  church  to  the 
close  of  his  charge  at  Kingwood  in  180G  or  7.  Rev.  James  McLaughlin 
followed  Mr.  Hunt  at  Kingwood  for  one  year.  Resigning  at  Kingwood, 
in  1809,  he  preached  alternately  at  Kingwood  and  at  Flemington  until 
1811.  When  leaving  Flemington,  he  limited  himself  to  Kingwood, 
resigning  at  the  end  of  the  year.  In  1813,  Rev.  Jolm  Ellis  entered  the 
pastorate  at  Kingwood,  continuing  until  1817.  All  of  these  pastors 
suffered  from  the  blight  left  upon  the  church  by  Mr.  Cox  and  his  attempt 
to  destroy  its  evangelism. 

In  the  spring  of  1818,  Rev.  David  Bateman  accepted  a  call  to  be 
pastor.  In  1819,  another  church  edifice  was  built  (the  fourth  or  fifth) 
three  miles  southeast  of  Baptisttown.  For  the  next  two  years  more 
than  one  hundred  converts  were  baptized.  A  year  or  more  passed,  when 
again  there  was  an  extensive  revival  and  many  were  added  to  the 
cliurch  by  baptism.  Mr.  Bateman  was  pastor  till  his  death  on  August 
10th,  1832,  at  the  age  of  fifty-five  years.  His  death  was  a  providential 
mystery.  As  pastor  and  preacher,  he  had  few  superiors.  A  "supply" 
ministered  after  Mr.  Bateman's  death  and  later  became  pastor  foi 
about  six  months. 

In  October,  1834,  Rev.  J.  W.  Wigg  became  pastor.  Soon  Anti- 
nomianism  caught  root  in  Kingwood  church.  Beebe,  the  anti-mission 
and  anti-temperance  apostle  with  his  allies,  Gobel,  Housel  and  others, 
took  advantage  of  a  new  pastor  and  prevailed  against  the  Christian 
activities  of  those  times  and  forcing  action  whereby  the  timid  and  in- 
active members  were  overborne.  Under  Mr.  Bateman,  this  element 
had  been  restrained.  But  the  onslaught  of  the  Antinomians  having  won 
victory  in  North  Jersey  and  had  broken  up  the  Warwick  Association, 
was  very  fierce  and  the  pastor  of  First  Hopewell,  John  Boggs,  yielded  to 
these  foes  of  righteousness  and  joined  in  the  iniquity,  so  that  First  and 
Second  Hopewell  and  Kingwood  churches  were  swept  from  their 
foundations  on  the  Gospel  and  in  1835, withdrew  from  the  "Central 
Baptist  Association  and  united  with  an  antinomian  body."  Mr.  Wigg 
did  what  he  could  to  save  the  name  and  honor  of  Kingwood  churcli. 

In  1838,  Mr.  Wigg  was  appointed  to  write  the  circular  letter  of  the 
Anti-mission  Association,  the  theme  of  which  was:  "The  importance 
of  thorough  acquaintance  with  the  Scriptures."  This  letter  was  re- 
jected by  the  Association  as  being,  ''Truth  unguarded."  Such  people 
had  no  use  for  the  Bible!     An  invitation  by  Pastor  Wigg  to  Evangelist 


F.  Ketchum  to  hold  a  "Protracted  meeting"  brought  matters  to  a 
head.  At  the  next  church  meeting  it  was  Resolved:  That  from  this 
time  on,  Elder  Wigg  is  dismissed  from  being  pastor  of  this  church,  in 
consequence  of  his  departure  from  the  doctrines  and  practices  of  this 
church  and  his  taking  liberties  with  the  church,  which  she  never  gave 
him,  we  are  therefore  destitute  of  a  pastor  and  from  this  day  he  will 
not  be  expected  in  either  house." 

A  large  stone  house  of  worship  had  formerly  been  built  in  a  village 
in  the  field  of  the  church.  Pastor  Wigg  went  on  a  Lord's  Day  to 
preach  in  this  building  and  he  was  locked  out.  This  incident  gave  the 
name  of  "Locktown"  to  the  village.  At  the  meeting  in  which  Mr.  Wigg 
was  put  out  of  the  pastorship,  a  committee  was  appointed  to  "examine 
preachers  and  to  admit  none  to  preach,  but  those  in  fellowship  with  the 
Delaware  River  Baptist  Association."  The  Son  of  God,  the  New 
Testament,  and  the  Gospel  were  thus  shut  out.  This  is  Antinomianism. 
At  the  same  meeting,  fifty  members  were  suspended  for  sympathizing 
with  Pastor  Wigg,  who  was  excluded  from  the  church.  As  an  anti- 
nomian  party  they  claimed  both  houses  of  worship." 

Those  adhering  to  the  old  faith  and  to  Baptist  practice  now  set  them- 
selves about  organizing  a  new  Kingwood  Baptist  church  and  building 
a  house  of  worship.  On  April  14th,  1839,  sixty  members  of  the  original 
Kingwood  church  and  fifty-two  converts  recently  baptized,  in  all,  on.^ 
hundred  and  twelve  disciples  renewed,  "The  Missionary  particular  Bap- 
tist church  of  Baptisttown."  The  disappearance  of  the  late  Kingwood 
Baptist  church  was  restored  by  a  Kingwood  Baptist  church,  which 
alone  could  claim  the  glorious  record  of  former  years. 

The  houses  of  worship  of  the  lost  Kingwood  church  have  been 
dumb  and  are,  save  as  the  pastor  of  First  Hopewell  occasionally  preaches 
at  Locktown.  The  other  is  a  dwelling  house  and  thus  has  life  in  it, 
or  is  rotting  down.  How  different  the  end  from  the  beginning  of  the 
former  Kingwood!  Within  forty  years  of  its  organization,  the  pastor's 
salary  was  five  hundred  dollars  and  a  parsonage  of  seventy  acres.  An 
income  then  equal  to  that  given  by  our  wealthiest  churches.  It  had 
built  five  houses  of  worship  if  not  six.  One  of  them  at  Flemington, 
in  1766,  it  had  licensed  four  members  to  preach  and  been 
the  mother  of  four  churches:  Mt.  Olive,  1753;  KnoUton,  1763; 
Flemington,  1798;  Bethlehem,  1831,  and  had  sent  many  constitu- 
ents to  Sandy  Ridge,  and  a  majority  of  the  constituents  of  both 
Second  Hopewell  and  Croton;  paying  one  half  the  cost  of  a  deserted 
meeting  house  in  Croton  and  Baptisttown,  1839-40.  Few  Baptist 
churches  in  New  Jersey  exceed  Kingwood  in  its  mission  work  in 
behalf  of   humanity.     Since  "the   Shadow  of   Death"   has  fallen   on 


Kins^wood  in  1835,  the  withering  process  has  not  stayed.  It  is 
a  "waste". 

The  later  organization  retained  the  old  name,  Kingwood,  and 
built  their  meeting  house  at  Baptisttown,  inducing  afterward  a  change 
of  name  to  Bapti.sttown.  Baptisttown  was  a  link  to  Middletown.  John 
and  James  Bray  lived  at  Baptisttown  (now  Holmdel)  when  the  sons 
moved  to  Hunterdon  county,  they  named  their  place  Bapti.sttown,  in 
memory  of  the  old  place  where  they  had  lived.  Mr.  Wigg  was  called 
to  be  pa.stor  of  the  later  Kingwood,  resigning  his  charge  in  1841.  In 
these  two  years  he  welcomed  twenty-five  by  baptism  into  the  church. 
His  successor  was  an  unworthy  man  and  was  excluded  in  1842.  Rev. 
E.  Haydock  stipplied  the  church  for  two  years  and  then  he  became 
pastor.  In  1844,  Rev.  C.  Fox  began  his  charge  remaining  until  1850. 
While  pastor,  a  company  of  nine  members  were  dismissed  who  with 
others  constituted  the  Cherry\alle  church. 

Upon  the  resignation  of  Mr.  Cox,  Rev.  Thomas  Barrass  was  called. 
Mr.  Barrass  was  much  beloved  and  had  a  happy  and  useful  pastorate. 
Flemington  could  thus  make  some  glad  returns  to  its  mother  church. 
Mr.  Barrass  resigned  in  October,  1861.  In  the  spring  of  1861,  twenty- 
two  members  were  dismissed  to  be  constituents  for  Croton  church.  Re- 
newed Kingwood  seems  to  have  retained  the  aggressive  force  of  its  old 
time  energy  and  to  keep  up  its  usefulness. 

November,  1861,  Rev.  A.  Armstrong  settled  in  the  pastorate.  For 
many  years,  pastors  of  Kingwood  had  preached  at  Frenchtown.  The 
State  Convention  Board  from  1859  had  occupied  the  river  shore  towns, 
by  its  missionaries.  Under  the  oversight  of  Rev.  Messrs.  G.  Penny 
and  of  W.  D.  Hires,  a  house  of  worship  was  built  in  Frenchtown  and 
dedicated  in  December,  1861.  Whereupon,  Mr.  Armstrong  seeing  his 
opportunity  included  Frenchtown  in  his  field,  preaching  there  each 
week.  After  five  years,  he  resigned  and  took  steps  to  settle  at  French- 
town.  Kingwood  numbered  one  hundred  and  forty-two  members;  of 
these  seventy-six  took  letters  to  constitute  a  church  at  Frenchtown. 

This  was  a  serious  blow  to  Kingwood.  But  its  inherent  vitality 
restored  it.  Rev.  Samuel  Sproul  occupied  the  pastorate  in  April,  1867 
Special  revivals  attended  his  labors.  A  parsonage  was  built  in  1870, 
and  Mr.  Sproul  closed  a  most  acceptable  pastoral  charge  of  seven  years. 
Parting  with  him  was  a  real  cause  of  grief,  sharing  with  Mr.  Barrass  in 
the  tender  sympathies  of  his  people.  With  other  supplies  was  Rev.  W. 
E.  Watkinson  who  settled  as  pastor  in  April,  1875.  He  reaped  well, 
closing  his  charge  in  November,  1881.  Rev.  George  Young  en- 
tered the  pastorate  of  two  years  and  gave  way  to  his  son,  G.  B. 
Young,  in  1884.     During  the  labors  of  the  son  the  grounds  were  im- 


proved  and  sheds  were  built  to  shelter  the  beasts  that  brought  the 
people  to  the  house  of  God,  from  storm  and  heat.  Mr.  Young  closed 
his  work  at  Kingwood  in  July  1887,  and  was  followed  by  Rev.  S.  C. 
Dare,  who  stayed  two  years.  In  June,  1889,  Rev.  G.  M.  Owen  accepted 
a  call  to  be  pastor.  The  name  of  the  church  was  changed  to  Baptist- 
town  in  1895.  Mr.  Owen  is  now,  in  1900,  pastor.  Eleven  years  attest 
the  unity  of  his  people  in  him.  A  storm  gave  birth  to  this  re-organized 
church  in  1839,  but  despite  its  hindrances  and  the  bitter  opposition 
from  without,  it  has  maintained  its  original  type,  since  its  first  organi- 
zation in  1742,  and  kept  up  its  expansion  in  local  and  foreign  missions. 
Since  1839,  the  church  has  dismissed  one  hundred  and  seven  to 
share  in  the  organization  of  other  Baptist  churches.  To  Cherryville, 
Croton,  and  to  Frenchtown,  the  church  has  done  its  full  share  to  provide 
houses  of  worship,  in  concert  with  other  churches.  It  is  a  record  not  to 
be  ashamed  of  in  an  isolated  rural  church  of  limited  membership.  Since 
1742,  twenty  pastors  have  ministered  to  the  church.  Mr.  Curtis, 
twelve  years  till  his  death;  David  Sutton,  almost  twenty;  D.  Bateman, 
till  he  died,  fourteen  years;  G.  A.  Hunt,  eleven  years;  Thomas  Barrass, 
ten  years;  S.  S.  Sproul,  seven  years;  C.  Cox,  six  years.  Shorter  pastorates, 
Armstrong  and  the  two  Youngs,  G.  M.  Owen,  eleven  years.  The  church 
has  built  six  meeting  houses  for  itself,  of  which  two  were  erected  before 
1741.  First  Hopewell  was  a  wealthy  church,  and  Kingwood  nearby. 
Middletown,  Piscataway,  Cohansey  and  their  stations,  not  only  wealth 
but  many  men  of  culture  and  of  high  social  and  official  position  and  of 
political  distinction,  this  the  more  reflects  upon  the  removing  of  Hope- 
well school  from  the  center  of  the  country  to  an  extreme  and  out  of  the 
way  place.  The  Honeywell  and  the  Hubbs  legacies,  illustrate  the 
blunder  and  folly  of  the  movement. 

It  will  be  presumed  from  the  near  vicinity  of  Kingwood,  (now  Bap- 
tisttown)  church  to  Frenchtown  and  from  the  early  missionary  instincts 
of  old  Kingwood  and  of  First  Hopewell  churches,  that  Frenchtown 
would  have  been  occtipied  long  since,  with  local  Baptist  ministries. 
But  it  was  new  Kingwood  (  Baptisttown )  to  plant  a  Baptist 
church  there.  If  it  is  recalled,  that  Frenchtown  is  of  comparatively 
recent  origin,  a  satisfactory  explanation  is  afforded  for  .seeming  delay. 
In  1840,  there  were  about  twenty-five  dwellings  in  the  place  and  only 
since  the  railroad  passed  through  the  town  has  there  been  assurance 
of  gro^\i,h.  In  1859,  the  Board  of  the  State  Convention  appointed 
Rev.  J.  G.  Penney  its  missionary,  with  Frenchtown  as  a  center.  Pastors 
of  nearby  churches  preached  there  and  a  goodly  number  of  Baptists 
lived  there  and  one  of  them  offered  a  large  sum  for  a  house  of  worship. 
Mr.  Penney  took  hold  of  the  enterprise  with  energy  and  the  house 


was  nearly  completed  before  he  left  the  field.  Rev.  W.  D.  Hires 
followed  him.     The  building  was  dedicated  December  25th,  1801. 

About  then  Mr.  Hires  left  the  field  and  the  Baptists  in  the  town 
determined  to  organize  a  Baptist  church.  At  a  meeting  they  called,  a 
committee  was  appointed  to  get  the  names  of  those  who  would  unite 
n  the  movement.  Nearly  sixty  persons  agreed  to  the  plan  and  in 
March,  1866,  they  decided  to  constitute  the  Frenchtown  Baptist  church. 
At  the  first  regular  business  meeting  of  the  church  called.  Rev.  A.  Arm- 
strong was  called  to  be  pastor.  Resigning  at  Baptisttown,  he  became 
pastor  at  Frenchtown  in  April,  1866  and  closed  his  work  there  in  1869. 
The  succession  of  pastors  at  FrenchtoAvn  was:  S.  C.  Boston,  1870-72; 
W.  H.  Shermer,  1872-73;  W.  H.  Pease,  1873-75;  S.  S.  Woodward,  1876- 
78;  W.  D.  Hires,  1878-81;  I.  D.  Shull  1881-83;  J.  Waldon,  1883-87;  J.  W. 
Taylor,  1888-90;  H.  A.  Chapman, 1891-94;  and  C.  M.  Deitz,  1895-1900. 

The  church  has  had  eleven  pastors.  Substantial  growth  and  deep 
rooting  in  the  community  could  not  be  hoped  for  under  such  repeated 
changes  in  the  pastoral  office.  The  church,  however,  with  its  house  of 
worship  provided  for  it;  has  been  a  self  sustaining  body  in  nearly  all 
of  its  past  history.  Such  fields  of  small  returns  and  distant  hope  of 
large  growth  demand  courage  and  faith  in  those  who  sustain  them. 




What  had  been  known  as  Rocksbury  church  from  1753  to  1768, 
the  name  of  the  township  in  which  the  meeting  house  was,  was  called 
Schooley's  Mountain  church  from  1768  to  1890,  one  hundred  and  twenty 
two  years.  The  members  of  the  church  were  living  on  the  mountain, 
and  hence  the  name,  Schooley's  Mountain.  From  1768,  the  name  of 
the  church  disappears  from  the  minutes  of  the  Philadelphia  Association. 
Neither  is  it  in  the  minutes  of  either  the  New  York  or  the  Warwick 
Associations.  It  appears  in  1823  in  the  Warwick  Association  as  the 
"Olive  church."  In  the  Sussex  Association  it  is  called  Schooley's 
Mountain  until  1889,  Avhen  another  designation  is  given.  The  "deed" 
of  the  lot  on  which  the  first  meeting  house  stood  is  dated  March  15th, 
1768,  and  was  made  by  James  Heaton. 

Morgan  Edwards  says  of  the  origin  of  the  church,  "The  rise  of 
Baptists  in  this  mountain  was  owing  to  Mr.  Samuel  Heaton,  who  with 
three  brothers  came  from  Connecticut  to  set  up  iron  works.  Bred  a 
Presbyterian,  he  wanted  a  Presbyterian  minister  to  christen  his  son. 
His  wife  oljjected  saying,  "If  you  show  me  a  text  that  warrants 
christening  a  child,  I  will  take  him  to  the  minister."  Mr.  Heaton  quoted 
several,  but  his  wife  was  not  satisfied.  Then  Mr.  Heaton  went  to  the 
minister,  sure  that  Infant  Baptism  must  be  in  the  Bible.  The  minister 
owned  that  there  was  no  text  that  directly  proved  the  point,  but  that 
it  was  probable  by  deduction  from  many  texts.  This  shocked  Mr. 
Heaton  and  he  went  home  to  "search  the  Scriptures."  And  with  the 
the  universal  result  of  becoming  a  Baptist.  He  then  went  to  King- 
wood,  about  forty  miles,  and  considering  the  roads  and  the  route,  three 
or  four  times  more.  He  was  baptized  there,  uniting  with  the  Kingwood 
church.  Returning  home,  he  began  to  preach.  Converts  were  made, 
who  went  to  Kingwood  and  were  baptized  into  that  church.  This  was 
the  beginning  of  "Schooley's  Mountain  Baptist  church." 

In  1751,  Mr.  Heaton  was  ordained  and  founded  three  Baptist 
churches.  Mount  Olive,  Dividing  Creek  and  a  church  in  Virginia.  Mr. 
Edwards  adds  of  Mr.  Heaton:  "If  an  honest  man  be  the  noblest  work 
of  God,"  as  Pope  saith,  "Mr.  Heaton  may  lay  claim  to  that  nobility." 
(For  other  tributes  to  Mr.  Heaton  by  Morgan  Edwards,  see  History  of 


Dividing  Creek  church.)  Pastor  Bonham  of  Kingwood  visited  the 
people  and  baptized,  also  Henry  Crossley,  a  Ucentiate.  Statements 
of  the  number  of  constituents  differ.  Minutes  of  the  Philadelphia 
Association  say  five.  Mr.  Edwards  gives  twelve  to  fourteen.  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Heaton  were  among  them.  Henry  Crossley  was  one  of  them  and 
he  was  called  to  be  pastor  and  ordained  in  1753.  He  resigned  in  1755. 
He  had  a  second  charge  of  seven  years  of  the  church,  1762-1768,  inclu- 
sive.    In  1768,  he  had  a  joint  pastorate  at  Mount  Bethel. 

Adversity  befell  Schooley's  Mountain  church  when  Pastor  Crossley 
removed.  Its  members  associated  with  Morristown.  Morgan  Ed- 
wards says  of  this  era:  "Since  the  people  of  Schooley  became  a  church 
they  have  undergone  a  dissolution  and  a  reunion;  some  moved  away, 
others  joined  Morristown,  but  others  returning,  they  reunited  under 
their  first  covenant  on  July  12th,  1775."  Even  though,  so  closely 
associated  with  Morristown,  the  Schooley  Mountain  members  reserved 
to  themselves,  liberty  to  hold  monthly  meetings  and  to  transact 
business  among  themselves.  This  arrangement  continued  until 
November  18th,  1786.  How  much  Pastor  Reune  Runyan  of  Morris- 
town had  to  do  with  this  arrangement  is  unexplained.  He  did 
pastoral  work  at  Schooley's  Mountain  and  his  influence  was  wholly 
of  a  merging  process.  When  he  returned  to  Piscataway,  he  kept  up 
these  endeavors,  even  though  the  long,  weary  and  lonely  distance, 
cost  a  vast  sacrifice  of  time  and  of  comfort.  Rev.  David  Jayne 
supplied  Schooley  Mountain  Baptists  when  Mr.  Runyan  returned  to 
Piscataway  and  remedied  in  part,  Mr.  Runyan's  plans.  In  1784, 
Mr.  Jayne  was  called  elsewhere  and  Mr.  Vaughn  followed  him  in 
1790  to  1794.  That  year  Rev.  Isaac  Price  settled  at  Schooley's 
Mountain,  remaining  till  1797.  Again  there  was  a  hiatus  in  the 
church  history  las-ting  till  1832. 

The  Board  of  the  State  Convention  then  sent  one  of  its  restoring 
missionaries.  Rev.  M.  Quin,  an  Irishman  and  humorous  of  course,  into 
North  Jersey.  Mr.  Quin  was  happy  in  recovering  Baptist's  interests 
there.  Early  in  1834,  Rev.  John  Teasdale  was  providentially  raised 
up  in  Sussex  county.  His  enterprise  and  effective  ministry  with  that 
of  his  brother,  Thomas,  gave  a  new  impulse  to  Baptist  affairs.  Rev. 
C.  C.  Park  was  pastor  in  1835,  and  Rev.  J.  M.  Carpenter,  another 
North  Jersey  Baptist  minister  had  the  pa.storate  from  1837  to  1840, 
Succeeding  Mr.  Carpenter  came  Rev.  T.  Richey. 

About  this  time.  Deacon  Samuel  Cozard  died  leaving  his  homestead 
farm  and  other  property  to  the  church.  The  Cozard  family  was  an 
important  element  in  the  church.  They  had  been  among  the  earliest 
settlers.     Four  of  the  name  were  constituents  in  1753  and  when  the 


family  removed  the  church  declined  and  when  they  returned  in  1775, 
the  church  enjoyed  prosperity.  These  Cozards  were  Baptists  irre- 
spective of  what  others  might  be  or  do.  Baptists  in  all  conditions  of 
popularity  or  unpopularity,  Baptists  to  whom  truth  and  duty  was  of 
more  worth  than  the  good  will  of  any  differing  from  them.  Baptists 
who  accomplish  aught  for  God  and  humanity  are  of  this  sort,  whoae 
faith  is  vital  and  is  worth  telling  to  every  creature.  Benedict  says  that 
Mr.  Quin  made  the  discovery  of  Mr.  Cozard's  legacy.  But  the  "will" 
was  not  made  till  long  after  Mr.  Quin  had  left  the  field.  Mr.  Richey 
did  good  service  for  the  church  and  for  the  cause  of  Christ. 

The  second  pastorate  of  Rev.  John  Teasdale  of  nine  years  from 
June,  1842.  Prosperity  characterized  these  years  till  1850,  when 
Deacon  Aaron  Salmon  died.  His  "will"  gave  the  bulk  of  his  estate  to 
the  church,  as  he  had  said  he  would.  The  "heirs"  contested  the  will, 
but  the  courts  sustained  it.  "Costs"  however,  wasted  the  property 
on  the  lawyers  and  what  was  worse,  wrought  contention  in  the  church 
and  arrayed  the  Godless  against  it.  It  is  never  safe  to  risk  the  avarice 
of  "heirs."  Pastor  Teasdale  preferred  quiet  to  disorder  and  resigned 
in  1851.  These  Teasdale  brothers  had  been  the  gift  of  Wantage, 
(Deckertown)  to  the  denomination.  They  made  neither  pretense  of 
wisdom  or  learning,  nevertheless  they  were  great,  in  that  they  had 
"good  common  sense,"  and  were  true,  safe  and  godly  men  and  with 
Zelotes  Grenelle  saved  the  Baptist  churches  in  North  Jersey  from  anti- 
nomianism.  These  men  were  raised  up  at  a  time  of  need  and  did 
great  work  under  the  lead  of  Zelotes  Grenelle. 

Rev.  Asacl  Bronson  followed  Mr.  Teasdale.  Mr.  Bronson  had  been 
pastor  of  a  pedo  Baptist  church,  but  was  led  to  see  his  errors  through 
Mr.  Teasdale,  who  baptized  him  into  the  membership  of  Mount  Olive 
church  which  licensed  and  ordained  him.  Pastor  Bronson  continued 
pastor  till  in  July  1853.  His  successor  was  Rev.  T.  F.  Clancy  who 
remained  nearly  ten  years,  resigning  in  the  spring  of  1863.  Under  Mr. 
Clancy,  a  new  house  of  worship  was  built  and  was  dedicated  in  1856. 
After  Mr.  Clancey,  within  a  few  weeks,  Rev.  H.  B.  Shermer,  ministered 
for  nearly  six  years,  till  his  death  on  March  22nd,  1869.  The  next  Oc- 
tober, Rev.  G.  F.  Hendrickson  settled  as  pastor.  A  special  work  of 
grace  occurred  under  his  labors,  continuing  as  pastor  for  about  three 
years.  The  pastorate  was  again  occupied  by  Rev.  J.  G.  Entrikin,  near 
the  close  of  1873. 

Next  year,  1874,  a  meeting  house  was  built  at  Drakesville  and  in 

1875  was  provided.     Rev.  S.  Sproul  settled  in  1875  and  stayed  six  years 

at  Mt.  Olive,  of  mutual  profit  and  enjoyment.     Resigning  in  1881,  a 

short  interval  came  between  his  resignation  and  the  settlement  of  Rev. 



M.  M.  Fogg,  in  April,  1881.  Mr.  Fogg  was  pastor  until  in  1883.  After 
Mr.  Fogg,  Rev.  T.  C.  Young  became  pastor,  at  the  next  October  and  re- 
signed in  1888,  whom  Rev.  S.  L.  Cox  followed  and  closed  his  pastorate 
in  1890.  In  that  year,  thirty-six  members  were  dismissed  to  constitute 
the  Netcong  Church.  In  1891,  Rev.  J.  L.  Watson  became  pa.stor  and 
is  now  (1900)  occupying  the  office.  Mt.  OUve  Church  has  had  three 
meeting  houses.  One  built  in  1768.  The  "deed"  was  given  by  James 
Heaton,  brother  of  Samuel.  The  "deed"  was  made  to  four  denomina- 
tions. A  second  house  was  built  in  1810  and  was  a  "union"  house. 
Matters  were  not  pleasant  in  this  union  arrangement.  Two  denomnia- 
tions  used  the  building  and  the  others  built  one  for  themselves.  The 
Baptists  used  the  old  building  till  1854,  when  it  was  sold,  and  Mt. 
Olive  Bapitst  Church  built  for  itself  a  house  of  worship  and  that  was 
dedicated  in  1856.     In  1870,  the  house  was  renovated  and  enlarged. 

When  Antinomianism  captured  the  Warwick  Association  in  1833, 
Mt.  Olive  withdrew  and  with  the  First  Wantage  and  Hamburg 
organized  the  Sussex  Association  in  1833.  Two  churches  colonized 
from  Mt.  Olive:  Ledgewood,  in  1874,  with  twenty-eight  constituents, 
and  Netcong,  in  1890,  with  twenty-six  constituents.  At  least  one 
member  has  been  licensed  and  ordained  and  has  been  pastor  of  the 
Church,  exclusive  of  Samuel  Heaton  who  was  ordained  before  the  Church 
was  organized.  Mt.  Olive  has  had  twenty-two  pastors.  Two  of  them 
had  double  pastorates.  Mr.  Crossley  being  seven  years  in  his  second 
charge  and  Mr.  J.  Teasdale  being  ten  years  in  his  second  oversight. 
Pastor  Sherman  died  while  pastor,  having  been  pastor  six  years. 

Originally  Ledgewood  was  named  Drake.sville.  The  change  of  the 
name  of  the  Adllage  to  that  of  Ledgewood  involved  a  change  of  the  name 
of  the  church.  Mt.  Olive  claims  the  maternity  of  Ledgewood  Church. 
Since  Drakesville  was  a  mission  station  of  Mt.  Olive  Church.  The 
origin  of  the  Church  is  described  by  the  Church  clerk,  who  says:  "Pur- 
suant to  a  notice  the  citizens  of  Drakesville  met  in  the  old  school  house 
June  22nd,  1873,  to  take  into  consideration  the  erection  of  a  Baptist 
Church  (house)  in  the  village."  A  committee  of  three  was  appointed 
to  select  a  site  and  arrange  for  lots  on  which  to  build  a  Church  edifice. 
Mr.  H.  Matthews  offered  to  give  the  lots  and  to  aid  in  the  erection  of 
the  buUding.  The  committee  on  funds  reported  that  two  thousand 
dollars  was  pledged  and  it  was  voted  to  build  in  1873  at  a  cost  of 
four  thousand  and  five  hundred  dollars. 

All  of  this  happened  a  year  before  the  Church  was  organized.  Next 
year,  in  October,  1874,  a  Baptist  Church  was  constituted  with  twenty- 
eight  members.  Six  pastors  have  served  the  Church;  one  of  them  had 
a  joint  charge  of  both  Mt.    Olive  and  of   Ledgeville,  J.  G.  Entrikin, 


1874-76;  A.  Millington,  1879-81  (Under  him  the  upper  part  of  the  Church 
was  completed  so  as  to  be  used  for  Sunday  services.);  T.  F.  Clancey, 
1882-87;  I.  N.  Hill,  1887-92.  Between  the  pastorates  of  Messrs.  Clancy 
and  Hill,  the  entire  indebtedness  of  the  Church  was  paid  and  while  Mr. 
Hill  was  pastor  in  1888,  a  large  contribution  was  made  for  the  erection 
of  the  Stanhope  chapel.  D.  Spencer  followed  Mr.  Hill  as  pastor,  1895- 
1900.  Since  Mr.  Spencer  resigned.  Rev.  T.  A.  Gessler  has  supplied 
the  Church. 

Netcong  Baptist  Church  sprang  from  a  mission  of  the  Mt.  Olive 
Church,  which  was  first  known  as  Stanhope  and  is  in  Sussex  county,  on 
a  stream  dividing  Morris  and  Sussex  counties.  Allusion  is  made  to 
Stanhope  chapel  as  early  as  1887-8,  and  is  distant  from  Mt.  Olive  Church 
about  five  miles.  In  1890,  twenty-six  members  were  dismissed  to  con- 
stitute the  Netcong  Church,  these  and  other  Baptist  residents,  in  all 
thirty-six,  were  constituted  that  body,  occupying  the  Stanhope  chapel. 
In  1893,  they  report  that  they  have  enlarged  and  improved  their  meet- 
ing house,  implying  a  building  previously  erected.  Information  from 
Netcong  and  Dover  is  indefinite ,  in  general  statements .  Rev.  William 
H.  Shawger  was  pastor  at  an  early  date,  whether  the  first  pastor  is  not 

On  February  22nd,  1892,  a  mission  at  Dover  was  begun,  which  Mr. 
Shawger  maintained  until  September,  1893,  when  thirty-nine  members 
of  Netcong  were  dismissed  to  form  Dover  Baptist  Church,  including  Mr. 
Shawger,  who  became  pastor  at  Dover,  he  removing  to  that  place.  Mr. 
J.  A.  Crawn  was  ordained  for  the  pastorate  at  Netcong  in  1894.  Rev. 
William  H.  Head  followed  Mr.  Crawn  in  1895  as  "supply,"  and  in  1898 
is  stated  to  be  pastor.  The  close  of  his  pastorate  is  not  given,  but  Rev. 
J.  A.  Peake  was  pastor  in  1900.  Netcong  is  a  rural  Church,  and  the 
future  of  such  churches  is  not  cheering. 

The  Dover  Church,  which  colonized  from  Netcong  church  three 
years  after  its  institution,  probably  impaired  the  strength  of  Netcong. 
If  so,  they  have  not  complained.  An  increase  in  the  number  of  churches 
is  not  an  index  of  denominational  growth,  except  as  resources  and  popu- 
lation increase,  especially  if  the  mature  and  resourceful  churches  starve 
distant  places  to  keep  the  starvelings  at  home  alive. 

Baptist  interests  in  Dover  assumed  real  form  when  Pastor  Shaw- 
ger of  Netcong  Baptist  Church,  with  Mr.  William  Morey  and  Mr.  D. 
Jones,  on  Feburary  22nd,  1892,  rented  a  hall  in  Dover  and  began  a 
Baptist  Mission.  Pastor  Shawger  and  these  two  gentlemen  (Baptists) 
sustained  the  mission  until  on  September  18th,  1893,  when  with 
thirty-nine  members  dismissed  from  Netcong  Church  constituted  the 
Dover  Baptist  Church.     Mr.  Shawger  was  chosen  pastor  of  the  Dover 


body.  The  Church  there  worshipped  in  a  hall  until  they  moved  into 
their  own  Church  edifice,  in  April,  1896.  Their  house  of  worship  had 
cost  six  thousand  dollars.  It  was  a  large  and  fitting  place  of  worship. 
In  its  early  years,  Dover  Baptist  Church  grew  rapidly  in  membership. 
Later  its  increase  accords  with  the  average  increase  of  Baptist  Churches. 
Mr.  Shawger  is  now  (1900)  pastor  at  Dover. 

In  1800,  members  of  First  Wantage  living  in  Newfoundland  asked 
the  Church  to  observe  the  Lord's  Supper  in  Newfoundland  twice  a  year. 
The  request  was  granted  and  Pastor  Southworth  of  First  Wantage 
preached  at  Newfoundland  once  each  month  from  the  time  of  the  re- 
quest. Four  years  developed  increased  Baptist  interest  under  the  active 
labors  of  Mr.  Southworth,  and  in  180-1  the  Newfoundland  Baptist  Church 
was  formed.  The  Church  united  with  the  Warwick  Association.  But 
in  1817,  it  was  "resolved  that  this  Church  shall  be  dropped  from  our 
minutes."  In  1822,  its  name  appears  again  and  the  Church  reported 
a  membership  of  thirty-five.  The  Church  reported  in  1823,  seven 
baptisms  and  a  membership  of  forty-five.  When  constituted  Ebenezer 
Jayne  was  ordained.  He  was  still  pastor  in  1809.  Thomas  Teasdale 
followed  Mr.  Jayne,  in  1811.  In  1839,  the  Church  united  with  the 
Su.ssex  Association.  That  body  was  made  up  of  Churches  which  had 
separated  from  the  Warwick  Association  when  it  divided,  in  1833, 
adopting  Antinomianism.  The  Sussex  Association  representing  the 
missionary,  temperance  and  working  forces  of  Christianity.  In  1856, 
the  name  of  the  Church  disappears  from  the  minutes  of  the  Sussex  As- 



Rev.  Messrs.  David  Jayne,  Ebenezer  Jayne,  John  Ellis  and  David 
Bateman  (pastor  of  Kingwood,  1818-1832)  each  preached  successfully 
in  the  northern  parts  of  Hunterdon  county.  A  church  organization 
was  not  attempted  until  the  appointment  by  the  board  of  the  State 
Convention  of  Rev.  Thomas  Barrass  to  be  a  missionary  in  north  New 
Jersey,  including  North  Hunterdon  county  in  his  field.  The  brothers, 
Thomas  and  Edward  Barrass  were  men  of  force,  of  intelligence  and  de- 
votion to  their  work,  and  among  the  most  efficient  pastors  and  evange- 
lists in  the  state.  People  were  not  long  in  finding  out  that  they  were 
of  the  sort  that  never  apologized  for  being  Baptists  of  the  straightest 

The  Bethlehem  Church  was  formed  in  October,  1837.  It  was  a 
child  of  Kingwood  Church;  pastors  of  that  Church  occupying  the  field 
baptizing  the  converts,  who  are  supposed  to  have  united  there.  The 
constituents  numbered  thirteen.  In  1839,  a  spacious  meeting  house 
was  built.  Before  this  worship  was  in  private  houses  and  barns  and 
groves  as  the  seasons  permitted.  Among  the  members  of  the  Church 
was  Nathan  Terribery.  Those  who  knew  the  men  and  women  of  these 
earlier  times  will  be  surprised  that  so  large  and  costly  a  house  of  worship 
was  built.  Mr.  Terribery  was  one  of  the  men  who  asked:  "What  is 
necessary?"  and  measured  his  benefactions  by  the  needs  and  not  by 
what  he  could  spare,  and  who  never  limited  himself  by  other  than  the 
needs.  The  New  Hampton  (Junction)  Church,  a  colony  from  Bethlehem 
Church  had  a  meeting  house  paid  for,  ready  for  its  use,  and  Deacon 
Terribery  was  chairman  of  the  committee  that  built  it.  Mr.  Barrass, 
as  missionary  and  as  pastor,  was  nineteen  years  in  this  field,  giving 
most  of  his  time  to  Bethlehem  Church.  Under  his  administration, 
the  Church  had  grown  from  thirteen  members  to  one  hundred;  had  built 
two  houses  of  worship  and  paid  for  them.  Resigning  in  March,  1850, 
he  was  at  once  followed  by  E.  M.  Barker,  1850-53;  J.  J.  Barker,  1853-58; 
William  Archer,  1858-63;  George  Young,  1863-67;  H.  Wescott,  1867-72. 

In  June,  1868,  nineteen  members  were  dismissed  to  form  New 
Hampton  (Junction)  Church.  Had  these  remained  in  the  mother 
Church,  one  pastor  would  have  sufficed  for  the  whole  field.     Twenty- 


four  members,  including  the  pastor,  Mr.  Wescott,  were  dismissed  in 
1872  to  organize  the  Clinton  Church.  The  going  out  of  these  colonies 
was  a  serious  loss  to  Bethlehem  Church.  Clinton  especially,  being  near 
by  and  the  town  a  growing  place,  while  the  house  of  the  Bethlehem 
Church  was  in  a  lonely  rural  neighborhood  and  but  for  a  legacy  condi- 
tioned upon  maintaining  worship  in  the  original  Church  edifice,  the 
Bethlehem  Church  would  have  been  removed  to  either  Clinton  or  to 
Pattonburg,  a  chapel  having  been  built  in  the  last-named  place,  where 
nearly  all  the  services  are  held.  Mr.  J.  W.  Porter,  a  student,  minister- 
ed at  Bethlehem  in  1874.  T.  C.  Young  became  pastor  in  April  1876-77; 
A.  B.  Still,  1878-86;  L.  Myers,  1886-88;  J.  H.  Hyatt,  1888-96;  M.  M. 
Fogg,  1896-99,  dying  while  at  his  work.  Mrs.  Kilgore  gave  a  lot  for  a 
parsonage  and  a  pastor's  home  was  built  under  Rev.  T.  C.  Young's 
pastoral  care.  Rev.  A.  B.  Still  had  a  joint  pastorate  with  Hampton 
Junction  Church  till  1882  and  his  memory  is  recalled  with  pleasure. 
Mr.  Still  and  Mr.  Hyatt  were  pastors  each  about  eight  years.  Two 
colonies  have  gone  from  Bethlehem,  Hampton  Junction  and  Clinton. 

The  church  has  had  twelve  pastors,  the  first  of  whom  held  the 
office  for  thirteen  years.  It  has  had  two  houses  of  worship  and  a 
chapel.  The  pastor  resides  in  the  parsonage  beside  the  church  over  a 
mile  from  Pattenburg.  There  is  no  prospect  of  a  large  membership. 
With  an  increase  of  population,  it  might  grow  in  strength  and  force 
and  be  a  source  of  spiritual  power  in  a  wide  section. 

New  Hampton,  Hampton  Junction,  Central  Baptist  Junction  are 
the  several  names  which  the  Baptist  church  at  the  Junction,  Hunterdon 
county,  has  been  known  by.  Earliest  it  was  know  as  a  "branch  of  the 
Bethlehem  Baptist  Church,"  where  Pastors  Barrass,  Barker  and  others 
maintained  a  mission  station.  Deacon  Terriberry  lived  near  the  Junc- 
tion and  no  doubt  was  the  means  of  the  building  of  the  meeting  house 
there  in  1852.  He  was  a  constituent  of  the  Junction  Church  formed  in 
1868  wiih  nineteen  members.  As  yet  the  young  Church  could  not  sustain 
itself  and  the  mother  Church  divided  the  ser\aces  of  its  pastors  with  it 
for  more  than  thirteen  years  and  was  cheerfully  consented  to  by  Pastors 
Still,  Young  and  Wescott,  and  Pastor  G.  F.  Hendrickson,  of  Port  Murray 
supplemented  their  work  for  months.  Strength  was  thus  gained  and  in 
April,  1882,  Rev.  John  Moody  became  pastor.  A  work  of  grace  was 
enjoyed  under  his  labors.  Within  two  years,  Mr.  Moody  was  called 
away  and,  in  1884,  Rev.  Willliam  A.  Smith  entered  on  the  pastorate  of 
both  the  Junction  and  the  Washington  Churches,  four  miles  apart. 

Mr.  Smith  was  active  in  his  two-fold  service.  He  devoted  special 
attention  to  Washington,  where  as  yet  a  house  of  worship  was  to  be 
erected.     Mr.  Smith  closed  his  work  at  the  Junction  in  1889.     Rev.  G. 


W.  Everitt  followed,  and  in  February,  1891,  a  beautiful  house  of  worship 
was  dedicated.  Mr.  Everitt  had  a  very  useful  pastorate.  His  enjoy- 
ment of  the  new  sanctuary  was  short.  In  December,  1892,  both  him- 
self and  companions  were  summoned  in  their  early  life  to  the  reward  of 
the  faithful  on  high.  In  May,  1893,  Rev.  L.  A.  Schnering  entered  the 
pastorate  and  retired  in  February,  1895.  His  successor  was  H.  M.  B. 
Dare,  1895-1902;  Central  Junction  may  become  a  large  Church.  Rail- 
road centers  have  a  changing  population  and  their  population  depends 
upon  how  long  the  railroad  shops  stay.  These  have  now  been  removed 
but  it  is  a  satisfaction  to  pastor  and  people  to  know  that  whatever  hap- 
pens to  a  locality.  Divine  truth  is  living  seed  and  if  it  does  not  germinate 
in  one  locality,  it  may  in  another.  Aside  from  joint  pastoral  care  with 
Bethlehem  and  Washington,  five  pastors  have  served  the  Junction 
Church,  one  of  whom  died  while  in  office.  Two  houses  of  worship  have 
been  built,  one  in  1852,  the  other  in  1891. 

Clinton  Baptist  Church  originated  from  Bethlehem  Church.  There 
is  a  dwelling  house  in  Clinton  occupied  and  owned  by  a  member  of  the 
Baptist  Church,  originally  built  for  an  Episcopal  meeting  house,  it  was 
remodeled  for  a  denominational  school.  One  of  the  stockholders  cher- 
ished Baptist  ideas  of  Bible  teaching.  Through  his  influence,  Rev.  E. 
R.  Hera,  pastor  of  Cherry ville  Baptist  Church,  was  obtained  for  monthly 
service.  On  one  occasion,  Mr.  Hera  gave  Baptist  views  of  truth  and  of 
duty.  The  Pedo  Baptist  stockliolders  took  offense.  On  other  occasions 
they  found  no  fault,  content  to  hear  the  advocacy  of  doctrines  they 
also  held.  When  Mr.  Hera,  came  to  his  next  appointment,  the  door 
was  locked  and  he  was  in  the  street.  Such  is  pedoism:  only  our  own 
and  us. 

This  outrage  stirred  the  town.  A  few  Christian  Methodists  opened 
the  Methodist  Church  edifice  that  day  for  Mr.  Hera  and  the  largest  con- 
gregation Mr.  Hera  had  had  gathered  to  see  a  man  who  preached  his 
convictions  of  truth,  irrespective  of  place  or  hearers.  It  was  not  the 
first  and  only  time  in  which  our  Methodist  brethren  showed  their  love 
of  truth  and  honest  convictions  in  the  preacher  under  like  circumstances. 
Shut  out  from  the  only  public  hall  in  the  town,  Baptist  meetings  were 
omitted  for  a  time. 

When  Rev.  Mr.  Archer  was  pastor  at  Bethlehem,  he  preached  in 
Clinton  in  private  houses.  In  the  meantime,  Mr.  J.  G.  Leigh,  the  stock- 
holder in  the  old  building,  of  Baptist  convictions  and  who  had  influenced 
Mr.  Hera  to  come  and  preach  at  Clinton,  built  a  school  house  and  em- 
ployed teachers,  causing  the  old  parochial  school  to  wither  and  die. 
The  building  which  had  been  an  Episcopal  meeting  house  and  school 
was  sold  and  Mr.  Leigh  bought  it  so  that  the  Baptists  went  back  to  the 


place  from  which  they  had  been  locked  out.  An  extensive  revival  broke 
out  in  Bethlehem  Church,  the  pastor  of  which  lived  at  Clinton.  In  May, 
1870,  he  baptized  six  residents  of  Clinton.  Mr.  G.  T.  Leigh  may  have 
been  one  of  them.  Soon  the  organization  of  a  Baptist  Church  in  Clinton 
arose.  Mr.  Leigh  gave  the  lots  for  a  Baptist  Church  edifice.  The  house 
begun  in  the  summer  of  1871  and  in  March,  1872,  thirty-seven  disciples 
constituted  themselves  a  Baptist  Church  in  the  building  from  which  they 
had  been  expelled.  At  this  meeting,  Mr.  Leigh  was  chosen  one  of  the 
deacons  and  also  treasurer  of  the  Church.  Rev.  H.  Westcott,  pastor  at 
Behtlehem  Church,  was  one  of  the  constituents  and  called  to  be  pastor 
at  Clinton,  entered  at  once  upon  his  duties. 

Their  house  of  worship  was  dedicated  in  August,  1872.  It  was  a 
large  and  most  fitting  structure  having  cost  ahnost  eleven  thousand  dol- 
lars, besides  the  value  of  the  lots.  The  accomplishment  of  this  result 
may  signify  the  part  Mr.  Leigh  had  in  it.  Mr.  Wescott  remained  one 
year.  This  was  the  second  Baptist  Church  he  originated,  the  former  being 
First  Woodbury.  He  has  ahvays  been  a  most  efficient  helper  of  new  and 
weak  Churches,  having  at  his  command  private  resources  that  enabled 
him  to  serve  Churches  without  consideration  of  a  salary.  Pastors  fol- 
lowing were:  W.  H.  Sermer,  1873-77;  G.  B.  Young,  ^877-79;  H.  D. 
Doolittle,  1879-1880.  (At  midnight  he  passed  to  the  everlasting  man 
sions.  Just  before  he  died  he  called  for  Deacon  Leigh  and  asked: 
"Deacon,  can't  I  lie  just  out  yonder?"  pointing  to  the  Baptist  ceme- 
tery. There  his  body  waits  the  resurrection  of  the  just.);  I.  N.  Hill, 
1880-85;  P.  A.  H.  Kline,  1886-93  (The  house  of  worship  was  enlarged, 
the  grounds  improved,  needful  comforts  for  man  and  beast  provided, 
and  best  of  all,  the  field  which  had  been  barren  of  spiritual  returns,  was 
fruitful  in  converts  and  in  growth.  His  resignation  was  accepted  with 
deepest  regret.) ;  E.  E.  Jones,  1893-96;  E.  J.  Skevington,  1897  and  is  now, 
1900,  pastor. 

Clinton  has  had  eight  pastors;  one  died;  only  Mr.  Kline  remained 
eight  years.  There  is  every  reasonable  hope  that  the  Clinton  Church 
will  have  growth  and  become  a  center  of  earnest  Christian  power. 

The  Hampton  Junction  Church  in  1882  called  to  be  its  pastor  Rev. 
J.  W.  Moody.  In  the  spring  of  1883.  he  began  an  afternoon  Lord's  day 
service  in  the  school  house,  about  a  mile  out  of  Washington.  A 
blessing  attended  the  service.  In  April,  1883,  thirteen  were  baptized. 
It  was  resolved  by  the  Junction  Church,  on  May  20th,  to  form  a  Church 
in  Washington.  An  organization  however  did  not  take  place  until 
October  22nd,  1883.  Washington  was  distant  from  the  Junction  four 
miles.  Services  were  continued  in  Washington  by  Mr.  Moody's  suc- 
cessor, Rev.  W.  A.  Smith.     The  baptized  converts  united  with  the 


Hampton  Junction  Church.  Mr.  Moody  closed  his  labors  at  Hampton 
Junction  Church,  Janaary  27th,  1884,  and  the  Washington  Church  was 
organized  and  was  supplied  by  him  nine  months  before  his  removal  and 
was  its  first  pastor  and  one  of  the  constitutents  of  the  Washington  church, 
nineteen  being  the  whole  number.  Already  measures  had  been  taken 
to  erect  a  house  of  worship.  A  lot  had  been  bought  and  some  materi- 
als for  a  house  of  worship.  At  this  juncture  Pastor  Moody  accepted  a 
call  to  a  distant  field. 

Rev.  W.  A.  Smith  was  called  to  the  pastorates  of  the  Churches  and 
entered  on  his  work  in  April,  188-4.  The  concern  of  chief  moment  was 
the  building  of  the  Church  edifice  in  Washington.  The  missionary 
committee  of  the  Association  had  talked  over  it,  but  as  yet  had  done 
nothing.  That  committee,  in  1884,  was  re-organized.  A  new  member 
suggested  that  Cherry ville.  New  Brunswick  and  Flemington  each  give 
five  hundred  dollars,  and  the  other  Churches  of  the  Association  made  up 
the  balance  of  the  cost  of  the  house.  The  Senior  Deacon  of  Cherry- 
ville,  H.  Deats,  indorsing  his  pastor's  suggestion.  The  plan  was  approv- 
ed and  this  action  was  an  inspiration  to  the  Churches  of  the  Association. 
The  needed  sum  was  promptly  secured.  Cherryville  alone  of  the  three 
Churches  paid  the  five  hundred  dollars.  Mr.  Smith  was  pastor  at 
Washington  until  1895,  having  resigned  at  the  Junction  Church  in  1889, 
having  been  pastor  of  two  Churches  five  years  and  of  Washington  Church 
exclusively  about  six  years.  Rev.  C.  W.  Haines  was  pastor,  1895-98. 
Rev.  E.  A.  Boom  followed  Mr.  Haines,  1899,  and  is  now  (1900)  pastor. 

Four  pastors  have  ministered  to  the  Church.  One  house  of  worship 
has  been  built  and  paid  for. 



There  is  but  little  data  of  the  churches  of  an  early  day  which  came 
and  are  not;  that  if  they  did  not  illustrate  the  missionary  convictions 
and  the  real  type  of  our  Baptist  ancestry,  the  veil  of  oblivion  might 
be  dropped  over  them.  It  would  not,  however,  be  just  to  the  men 
and  women  who  laid  the  foundations  of  our  Baptist  faith  and  have 
Isuilt  for  us  what  we  have  of  denominational  life  and  of  outcome. 

Morgan  Edwards  gives  what  we  have  of  the  early  life  of  Knowlton 
church,  stating  that,  "about  1754,  two  Baptist  families,  each  a  hus- 
band and  wife  moved  from  Kingwood  to  the  neighborhood."  Soon 
after  their  coming,  another  Baptist  family  from  Kingwood  moved  to 
that  vicinity.  These  invited  Baptist  ministers  to  visit  them.  Their 
pastor  at  Kingwood  and  Rev.  H.  Crossley  of  Mount  Olive  church 
visited  them.  As  a  result  of  their  labors,  eight  persons  went  to  King- 
wood  and  were  baptized,  uniting  with  that  church.  The  date  of  the 
deed  of  the  land,  on  which  their  meeting  house  stood  was  August  9th, 
1756.  Their  house  of  worship  was  built  in  1763  and  was  distant  five 
miles  from  Roxbury  (Mount  Olive)  Baptist  church  edifice,  on  a  knoll 
like  a  sugar  loaf,  the  top  of  which  was  broken  off.  From  this  resem- 
blance the  church  derived  its  name,  "Knowlton."  Knowlton  became 
extinct  in  1800. 

Rev.  T.  F.  Clancy,  an  intelligent  and  cultured  man,  sent  by  the 
Philadelphia  Association  to  take  charge  of  the  Honeywell  school,  and 
pastor  of  the  Delaware  church,  writes  in  1853:  "About  eight  miles  east 
of  the  Delaware  church  formed  in  1834,  is  an  old  grave  yard,  killed  (?) 
by  a  drunken  minister,  if  tradition  bears  true  testimony."  The  Del- 
aware church  was  in  Knowlton  township,  probably  formed  of  descend- 
ants of  Knowlton  church.  Oxford,  (now  Montana)  possibly  had  a 
like  origin.  Mansfield  also,  had  its  beginning  from  Knowlton  in  1786. 
Kingwood,  the  eldest  daughter  of  First  Hopewell  was  pre-eminent 
a  missionary  church  and  First  Hopewell  would  have  been,  but  for 
antinomianism.  Middletown  is  thus  the  ancestress  of  nearly  all  the 
Baptist  churches  in  Hunterdon,  Warren  and  Sussex  counties  of  New 
Jersey.  Thus  Middletown,  the  senior  Baptist  church,  south  of  Rhode 
Island,   through   Cohansie,   First   Hopewell,   and   Hightstown   is  the 


fountainhead  of  Baptists  in  North,  Central  and  South  Jersey.  It  is  also 
represented  far  South  and  West.  It's  only  peer  is  Piscataway,  the 
fruitfulness  of  which  is  like  to  that  of  Middletown.  The  memory  of 
Obadiah  Holmes,  the  virtual  founder  of  Middleto%vn,  is  indeed  blessed. 
Rev.  H.  Crossley  was  the  first  pastor  of  Knowlton,  for  three  years. 
Elkana  Holmes  was  pastor  in  1775,  and  after  him,  Rev.  D.  Jayne,  an 
indefinite  time.  In  1785,  Daniel  Vaughan  was  ordained  for  the  pas- 
torate. With  his  charge,  Morgan  Edwards  account  of  Knowlton 
church  closes  January  2nd,  1790. 

Morgan  Edwards,  under  date  of  December  29th,  1789,  says  of 
the  early  history  of  Mansfield,  commonly  written  Mansfield  wood 
house,  the  name  of  the  township  in  Sussex  county,  "they  hold  worship 
in  a  private  house,  except  when  many  come  together.  Then  they  meet 
in  Dr.  Cummings's  barn.  The  families  are  about  twenty,  whereof 
twelve  persons  are  baptized  and  in  the  communion."  No  meeting 
house;  no  minister;  no  salary,  and  yet  collect  something  considerable 
to  pay  for  ministerial  visits.  One  of  the  first  settlers  of  Mansfield  was 
Mr.  Abraham  Giles,  a  member  of  Knowlton  church.  He  invited  Rev. 
Mr.  Crossley,  pastor  of  Knowlton,  to  preach  at  his  house  sometime 
in  1763.  This  raised  the  curiosity  of  the  few  families  who  had  made 
settlements  in  the  neighborhood.  Mr.  Crossley  and  others  repeated 
their  visits  and  some  of  their  hearers  became  very  serious. 

In  1770,  Dr.  Robert  Cummings  of  Pennsylvania,  settled  in  the 
neighborhood.  His  wife  was  the  daughter  of  Andrew  Bray,  Esq.,  and 
a  very  sensible  woman.  He  also  encouraged  ministers  to  come  preach 
at  his  house.  The  next  who  opened  a  door  to  Baptist  preachers,  was 
a  Dutch  family  named  Beam,  and  it  so  happened  that  his  daughters 
were  the  first  in  these  parts  who  received  the  baptism  of  repentance 
for  the  remission  of  sins;  viz.,  Elizabeth,  Christianna  and  Susanna. 
After  them  followed  their  father  and  mother,  Jacob  and  Catharine. 
Next  followed  the  names  thirteen.  These  persons  on  November  20th, 
1786,  were  formed  into  a  church  by  Rev.  David  Jayne.  On  November, 
12th,  1788,  twelve  members  went  from  hence  to  settle  at  Niagara  and 
took  a  preacher.  Rev.  William  Haven,  with  them.  The  early  preachers 
at  Mansfield  have  been  named.  Later,  Mr.  Cox  preached  af  Mansfield, 
once  each  month  and  received  twelve  bushels  of  wheat  yearly  for  his 
labors.  *  *  *  Qne  minister,  Thomas  Jones,  a  Welshman,  was 
ordained  by  D.  Jayne.  Mr.  Jones  was  a  man  of  originalities.  He 
removed  to  the  State  of  New  York. 

This  record  of  Mansfield  is  very  satisfactory.  Since  but  for  it,  we 
had  not  known  of  early  Baptist  planting  there,  nor  of  the  part  in  it 
of  Knowlton.     The  First  Mansfield  church  of  1786,  is  renewed  by  a 


re-organization  in  1841,  as  Point  Murray  by  the  Board  of  the  New 
Jersey  Baptist  State  Convention.  Missionaries  Rev.  WilUam  Pollard 
and  Thomas  Barrass  both  of  Flemington  Church  were  sent  to  these  old 
fields  of  Knowlton  and  Mansfield  seventy  and  fifty  years  after  the  early 
planting;  each,  Mansfield,  now  Pt.  Murray;  Oxford,  now  Montana,  and 
Delaware,  were  an  out-growth  of  Knowlton,  a  legimate  offspring  of 
Kingwood.  In  July,  1841,  Rev.  T.  H.  Cole,  licensed  by  the  Delaware 
Church  in  1840,  and  got  astray  spiritually  but  was  recovered,  visited 
the  places  of  his  youth,  doing  the  work  of  an  evangelist.  With  four 
others,  three  of  them  from  Oxford  (now  Montana),  in  all  five,  reconsti- 
tuted Mansfield  Church  (now  Pt.  Murray).  Thus  twice  Mansfield 
derived  its  life  from  the  Old  Knowlton;  first  from  itself,  next  from 
its  lineal  descendant  and  occupant  of  its  original  field  and  by  one, 
which  Delaware  church  commissioned  to  preach. 

In  1842,  a  house  of  worship  was  built  in  Point  Murray  and  in  1894, 
the  name  of  the  church  was  changed  to  that  of  the  to-mi  in  which  it 
it  was  located.  Mr.  Cole  was  the  first  pastor;  Rev.  J.  J.  Carey  became 
pastor  in  1848,  and  in  1852,  Rev.  Edward  Barrass  settled  as  pastor. 
Successors  were  Rev.  J.  Timberman,  1858-60;  J.  K.  Manning,  1864-67; 
H.  C.  Putnam,  William  Humpstone  and  H.  Wescott  followed,  each  one 
year;  G.  F.  Hendrickson,  1873-77;  T.  C.  Young,  1879-81 ;  C.  W.  O.  Nyce, 
1882-86;  C.L.Percy,  1887-90;  G.F.Love,  1890-92;  T.E.Vasser,  Jr.,  1893- 
1900.  Point  Murray  being  on  the  canal,  was  a  business  center,  where 
boats  received  and  discharged  freight.  Since  1841,  sixteen  pastors 
have  served  the  church.  This  is  not  an  impeachment  of  their  integrity. 
Rather  their  going  there  is  an  instance  of  self  denial  and  of  devotion  to 
the  best  interests  of  humanity  and  of  their  purpose  to  do  what  they 
could  to  bless  and  save  them  who  are  "ready  to  perish."  A  small 
salary  and  an  isolated  location  has  doubtless  shortened  ministerial 

Originally,  Montana  was  Oxford.  Oxford  and  Delaware  churches 
were  closely  linked  by  their  nearness  to  each  other  and  by  the  labors 
of  the  two  brothers,  Thomas  and  Edward  Barrass.  Delaware  church 
was  in  Knowlton  township  and  Oxford  was  near  by.  Both  were  an 
outgrowth  of  Knowlton.  Thomas  and  Edward  Barrass  were  much 
like  to  the  brothers,  Thomas  and  John  Teasdale,  eminent  for  piety, 
character  and  devotion  to  Baptist  interests  in  North  Jersey,  these 
with  Zelotes  Crenelle  ought  to  be  held  in  everlasting  remembrance 
among  us  for  their  work  and  worth.  Mr.  T.  F.  Clancy  writes  in  1853 
of  the  Oxford  church  that  it  was  constituted  with  nine  members.  The 
church  prospered  under  the  missionary  labors  of  the  men  whom  the 
State  Convention  sent  into  its  field. 


In  1842,  a  party  claiming  to  be  the  Oxford  church  drew  off,  oppos- 
ing all  benevolent  societies,  Bible,  Tract,  Sunday-schools,  missions 
and  seminaries,  as  being  innovations  on  Baptist  usages.  Although  a 
small  minority  and  the  church  clerk  being  one  of  them,  they  kept  the 
papers  of  the  church,  locked  the  meeting  house  door  and  denied  access 
to  it,  by  the  majority,  whom  they  excluded  as  heretics.  The  church, 
although  assured  of  their  power  to  dispossess  these  usurpers,  chose  to 
build  a  new  house  of  worship,  which  was  dedicated  in  1847,  and  to 
leave  the  faction  in  the  hands  of  God,  protesting  against  thir  action 
and  filling  claims  against  the  property.  The  faction  is  now  reduced 
to  a  very  few.  *  *  *  Rev.  Thomas  Barrass  who  was  pastor  from 
1831  to  February,  1844,  resigned.  His  brother  Edward  was  "supply" 
in  1846  and  pastor  in  1847  imtil  1850  and  ministered  to  the  church  for 
seven  to  nine  years.  Rev.  Mr.  Clancy  preached  once  in  four  weeks  for 
Oxford  church  until  April,  1855. 

Soon  after  the  division,  about  1842,  a  majority  of  the  evangelical 
party  formed  the  Franklin  church.  An  antinomian  faction  went  out 
of  Hamburg  church  in  1823,  calling  itself  Franklin.  It  died  of  inanition. 
But  not  succeeding  the  members  at  Franklin  returned  to  Oxford. 
After  Mr.  Clancy,  Rev.  Edward  Barrass  was  recalled  and  had  a  second 
charge  of  four  years.  Rev.  J.  Timberman  was  pastor  in  1859.  Rev. 
William  Pike  served  a  year.  Mr.  J.  K.  Manning  was  called  and  was 
ordained  in  November,  1862  and  remained  four  years.  Pastors  follow- 
ing were:  S.  L.  Cox,  1868;  J.  J.  Muir,  1868-70,  being  ordained  in  Aug- 
ust, 1869.  M.  M.  Finch  was  ordained  for  pastor  in  June,  1871.  His 
stay  was  only  ten  months.  Rev.  A.  B.  McGowan  followed  and  re- 
signed in  1875.  Mr.  C.  Warwick  was  ordained  in  February,  1876. 
Rev.  S.  G.  Silliman,  1877-79;  J.  M.  Scott,  1880-81;  E.  M.  Lamb,  1882-90. 
While  pastor,  the  house  of  worship  was  repaired  and  improved.  Rev. 
E.  A.  Boom,  1896-97;  S.  L.  Cox,  1898.  W.  E.  Cooper  was  also  pastor 
about  two  years. 

Seventeen  pastors  have  ministered  to  the  church.  Two  of  them 
have  been  recalled.  Thomas  Barrass  was  pastor  thirteen  years  and 
the  two  pastorates  of  his  brother  Edward,  nearly  equalled  that  of 
Thomas.  Montana  is  believed  to  have  been  formed  of  descendants 
of  Knowlton,  constituted  in  1763.  Two  meeting  houses  have  been 
built  by  the  church.  Small  salary,  mountainous  country  and  secluded 
section  relieves  pastors  and  people  from  the  love  of  change.  Railroads 
laterly  have  relieved  these  hills  of  their  seclusion.  The  people  have 
the  same  elements  of  character,  intelligence  and  companionship  that 
characterize  other  American  communities. 


In  1821,  the  Board  of  the  Pennsylvania  Baptist  State  Convention 
sent  Rev.  J.  C.  Hagan  to  labor  in  Sussex  county,  New  Jersey.  Mr. 
Hagan  remained  two  winters  and  was  followed  by  Rev.  J.  Booth  assisted 
by  Rev.  Thomas  Menton.  *  *  *  xhis  action  was  induced  by  the 
Honeywell  school  fund,  which  had  been  left  to  the  Philadelphia  Asso- 
ciation. Mr.  Honeywell  is  supposed  to  have  left  $20,000,  to  found 
a  school  for  the  education  of  slaves  and  of  the  children  of  poor  parents. 
There  was  not  a  Baptist  organization  in  New  Jersey  to  which  he  could 
give  this  legacy,  when  he  made  his  will  in  1773.  (Minutes  of  Phila- 
delphia Association,  pages  181,  200,  326.)  The  supervision  of  this 
school  brought  distinguished  ministers  of  that  Association  to  this 
field.  *  *  *  "Isaac  Stelle,  Montany,  Samuel  Jones,  J.  Mathias, 
who  visited  the  school  for  thirty-six  consecutive  years,  with  only  one 
interruption,"  so  writes  Mr.  T.  F.  Clancy  sent  by  the  Association  to 
be  its  principal.  Three  trustees  were  named  in  the  will  of  Mr.  Honey- 
well: Isaac  Stelle  of  Piscataway,  Benjamin  Miller  of  Scotch  Plains, 
and  Samuel  Jones  of  Philadelphia.  Thus  indicating  his  preference 
for  a  New  Jersey  supervision. 

In  October,  1891,  the  trustees  of  the  Philadelphia  Association 
reported  money  on  hand:  $1,  964.  The  total  receipts  of  the  Honeywell 
School  Fund  amounted  to  $4,504.02.  of  which  amount  $4,100  was 
received  from  matured  loans  of  the  city.  There  is  a  cash  balance  to 
new  account  of  $2,979.02,  of  which  balance  $2,600  awaits  re-invest- 
ment. Had  Mr.  Honeywell  endowed  Hopewell  School,  he  would  have 
prevented  the  crime  of  its  removal  to  Providence,  Rhode  Island,  by 
the  "outsiders"  of  New  Jersey. 

When  in  1830,  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  State  Convention  had  been 
organized,  its  Board  sent  Rev.  William  Pollard  to  Sussex  county,  to 
counteract  the  tendencies  of  our  churches  in  North  Jersey  to  anti- 
nomianism.  Later  they  sent  the  Barrass  brothers,  Thomas  and 
Edward,  who  with  Zelotes  Grenelle  and  the  Teasdale  brothers  saved 
the  older  churches  from  the  wreck  which  befell  many  others.  Thomas 
Barrass  was  the  first  pastor  of  Delaware  church  and  was  followed  by 
his  brother  Edward,  under  whom  the  house  of  worehip  was  begun  in 
in  1838.  The  succession  of  pastors  was;  J.  R.  Morris,  1841;  J.  R. 
Curran,  1842-45;  Thomas  Teasdale,  1845-47;  T.  F.  Clancy,  1849-53. 
Mr.  Clancy  was  sent  by  the  trustees  from  Frankford,  Penna.,  to  be 
principal  of  the  Honeywell  School.  He  became  pastor  of  the  Dela- 
ware church  and  was  ordained  there.  He  wrote  histories  of  the  origin 
and  growth  of  many  Baptist  churches  in  North  Jersey.  A.  Harris, 
1854;  William  M.  Jones,  1859,  and  C.  E.  Cord,  one  year.  In  1853, 
the  membership  was  sixty.     They  had  a  good  brick  meeting  house. 


Twenty-five  were  added  by  baptism  in  one  year  and  in  1856,  a  deacon's 
widow,  Mrs.  Aten,  canceled  all  of  their  debts.  Not  reporting  to  the 
Association  for  many  years,  a  committee  was  sent  to  inquire  their 
state.  The  committee  reported  in  1870,  advising  that  the  name  be 
omitted  from  the  list  of  churches.     The  report  was  adopted. 

Antinomianism  is  supposed.  The  intense  hyper-Calvinistic  ideas 
of  the  day  had  made  way  for  it.  The  denomination  was  almost  uni- 
versally and  vitally  impaired  in  efficiency  in  New  Jersey  for  half  a 
century.  The  organization  of  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  State  Con- 
vention was  providential.  Under  the  leadership  of  Pastor  Webb  of 
New  Brunswick  and  Morgan  J.  Rheese  of  First  Trenton,  the  words  of 
Caesar  after  Pompeii,  are  fitting:     "Vini,  visi,  vici." 

Rev.  T.  F.  Clancy  of  Sussex  county  wrote  an  account  of  Montana 
(Oxford)  church  in  1853.  Oxford  and  Delaware  churches  were  linked 
together  by  their  nearness  to  each  other  and  by  the  labors  of  the  two 
brothers,  Thomas  and  Edward  Barrass.  The  Oxford  church 
prospered  under  missionary  labor  and  numbered  eighty  members.  In 
1842,  temperance  and  missionary  questions  awakened  very  special 
interest.  In  the  fifties  Rev.  Mr.  Clancy  for  a  time  preached  once  in 
four  weeks  for  Oxford  until  April,  1855.  The  period  of  Mr.  Clancy's 
ministry  was  probably  short. 


(•ii.\ni:i:  i\. 

ri,i:Mi\(i'ix)N.  SANDY  miKiK.  wkimsvii.i.i;  wn  cnKinn' 

VIII  1 

Tho  Flotjunirton  llnptiMi  cliurrli  ih  a  {lauitht«;r  of  «hr  KinffwcKxl 
rhurrh.  Kroin  17<VI.  I)avi«l  SiilUm.  N.  CUtx,  (J.  A.  Hunt  fiml  Jnmm 
Mc!,:uij:hlin.  c<ncl»  jKudor  of  KiiijiwcKKl  church,  mmnl,ain«><l  regular 
;»p|xtiniM(i'nt.H  in  Mcminglon.  Mr.  Sullon,  ctf  KinKwiKxl,  l»y  hin 
pnv»clnnR  in  Kli'mi?»jrton,  doulillctut  irillticnccd  Thonin^  l-<»wry  ami 
.l.iinc.t  I'.ilily  in  \lt\ii,  to  Riv(>  (lie  (troiind  oit  which  to  Innid  a  hnptini 
mctMinn  ho»i!«<».  Next  year.  17<M\.  Mr.  Sutton  i«'cun><l  th«>  t-nction  of 
the  hoiiJ«»  an<l  in  the  n«'nrly  twenty  ycnrn  of  hi*  clinrsfp  «»t  KinffwocKi. 
prcnchctl  in  it.  Morgan  Kdwartl«  ch^Mcrilxw  Mr.  Sutton.  "He  haw  oft(>n 
heen  compared  to  Nathaniel,  of  whom  it  w.'u*  tuiid:  'Then>  wax  no  (Oiilc 
in  him.'  "  Mr.  Sutton  w:w  i>!»i«tor  of  a  wealthy  church  and  of  a  willing 

The  pa!«t«)rate  of  Mr.  Sutton  at  KingwtKHl  wa«  a  npi'cial  Providpncc 
for  Baptist  intenwtj*.  He  wa«  the  right  man  in  the  right  place,  not 
only  to  anticipate  the  future,  hut  nn  nuich  to  contnjl  tho  influi-nc*'*! 
and  mean«  of  his  time  to  mouhl  that  future.  The  unprt*tentious  houne, 
the  building  of  which  he  ko  quickly  accompliHluHl  han  had  triple  utum. 
It  wns  a  »«mctu.ary  of  pniiw  sun!  prayer.  It  wa«  alw)  the  sanctuary 
of  our  sick  and  wountled  sohlien*  in  the  American  Revolution;  again 
it  l>ec4uno  "a  houHc  of  prayer"  !in<l  of  m««»««tg«'«  of  life  to  other  nicit  and 
woun«le<l  one.s.  Nor  yet  w.'u<  it*<  miction  done,  heing  a  lr)ng  linn-  hom«! 
.and  center  when'in  wa*«  <leveIop«*d  a  church  which  waK  :u»  antidote 
to  the  falsities  of  its  ,ancei<try.  which  cherishetl  the  faith  of  the  early 
disciples  .and  of  Haptist^s  in  these  later  time«<,  a  church  that  is  a  npring 
whenc»»  living  waters  flow  for  "the  healing  of  the  n.ationjt,"  Would  then? 
have  l)een  a  Baptist  church  in  Klemington,  so  early,  entwining  it*  rootn 
about  the  early  settlerx  and  a  foundation  of  social  order  and  piety,  had 
Mr.  Sutton  failed  to  compn-hend  the  future? 

In  the  interim  of  the  defection  of  Mr.  Cox  from  evangelical  tnith,  to 
the  coming  of  Mr.  Hunt  to  Kingwoo<l,  Kev.  Mr.  Kwing  of  Finfl  Hop«»well 
pre.achiHl  in  Flemington  once  in  four  weeks.  B.istor  Hunt  s«'ttle<l  at 
KingwjxxJ  in  October.  170.5,  thre«»  years  before  the  Flemington  church  formed.  He  engaged  to  devote  one  third  of  his  labom  in  Heming- 
ton.     The  meeting  house  in  FlemingtOD  "wa«  almoMt  in  ruiiui."    In 


the  Cox  episode  it  was  unused  and  neglected.  It  was  repaired  and 
Mr.  Hunt  baptized  six  converts.  These  with  ten  dismissed  from 
Kingwood  were  constituted  the  Flemington  church  in  1798.  Mr. 
Hunt  ministered  at  Flemington  till  1 803,  after  that  he  limited  himself  to 
Kingwood,  untU  his  resignation.  Mr.  McLaughlin  followed  Mr.  Hunt 
at  Kingwood.  He  agreed  to  divide  his  labors  between  the  two  churches, 
preaching  in  either  alternately  and  yet  Kingwood  wag  one  of  the 
wealthiest  Baptist  churches  in  the  country.  Amply  able  to  command 
the  entire  time  of  a  pastor  and  thus  at  the  sacrifice  to  itself  of  its  own 
needs  gave  a  generous  motherly  care  to  its  daughter. 

Mr.  McLaughlin  became  pastor  at  Kingwood  in  1808,  serving 
both  churches  till  1811,  when  he  followed  Mr.  Hunt's  example  and 
limited  himself  to  Kingwood.  Nearby  pastors  "supplied"  Flemington, 
as  the  church  could  secure  them  until  April,  1812,  when  Mr.  C.  Bart- 
olette  "supplied"  the  church  for  a  year.  On  May  1st,  1813,  he  was 
ordained  and  remained  as  "supply"  for  two  years  and  in  April,  1814, 
settled  as  pastor. 

There  are  events  which  mark  an  era.  Pastor  Bartolette's  coming 
to  Flemington  was  one  such.  He  was  a  wise  man  and  prudent,  an 
able  preacher,  a  good  pastor  and  like  to  his  Divine  Master,  "went  about 
doing  good."  Under  his  efficient  labors,  the  church  grew  in  strength 
and  in  number.  His  pastorate  of  thirty-four  years,  was  fuD  of  the 
tokens  of  Divine  favor.  Coming  to  the  church  when  it  was  weak, 
numbering  but  eighty  members,  at  his  resignation  in  1846,  it  was 
flourishing  and  numbered  three  hundred  members.  More  than  four 
hundred  had  been  baptized  by  him  into  the  church.  His  salary  in  1812, 
was  two  hundred  dollars;  at  the  latter  part  of  his  charge  it  was  increased 
to  four  hundred  dollars.  This  however,  was  not  the  measure  of  the 
pastors'  income,  since  it  was  a  universal  custom  in  our  churches  in  those 
days,  to  share  with  the  pastor,  various  supplies  to  the  families,  the 
furniture,  the  bam,  the  wood  and  the  poultry  yard,  which  the  writer 
knows,  exceeded  the  nominal  salary  many  hundreds  of  dollars  and 
relieved  all  anxiety  for  old  age.  Mr.  Bartolette  left  the  church  one  of 
the  most  efficient  Baptist  churches  in  the  State.  He  was  an  evangelical 
preacher,  a  high  toned  Cahdnist,  impressing  his  hearers  with  a  sense  of 
the  Divine  Sovereignty  and  of  mankind's  reprobacy.  Some  feared  that 
he  might  launch  into  the  "Dead  Sea"  of  Antinomianism.  But  he  was 
more  of  a  Christian  than  a  doctrinarian,  nor  ever  overlooked  the  fact, 
that  the  condition  of  faith  in  atoning  blood  implied  responsibility  as 
well  as  obligation.  It  is  a  tmeism,  that  Calvinistic  pastors  build  up 
strong,  numerous,  abiding  and  independent  churches.  Presbyterian- 
ism    is    an    instance.      History    verifies    Bancroft's    statement,    that 


Calvinism  is  the  fountain  source  of  missions  and  of  the  mighty  agencies 
which  bless  humanity  and  gives  to  Christianity  its  aggressiveness^ 
Pastor  Bartolette  was  a  missionary  pastor. 

At  Sandy  Ridge,  a  meeting  house  was  built  in  1817  and  a  church 
organized  in  1818,  where  he  preached  half  of  the  time  till  March,  1832. 
In  1836,  a  large  and  substantial  house  of  worship  was  built  in  Fleming- 
ton.  In  that  year  also,  a  church  was  formed  at  Wertsville.  An  exten- 
sive work  of  grace  was  enjoyed  in  1838.  First  Hopewell  and  King- 
wood,  the  eldest  daughter  of  First  Hopewell,  were  missionary  churches 
until  the  cancer  of  Antinomianism  developed  in  Kingwood  in  1831-5. 
The  former,  though  deteriorating  by  the  process  of  self-absorption, 
is  still  living  because  of  her  former  spirituality  and  wealth.  King- 
wood  has  a  "name  to  live"  but  is  dead.  Baptisttown  however,  con- 
stituted of  its  evangelical  element  is  its  substitute  in  Kingwood.  Flem- 
ington  church  is  the  fourth  generation  from  Middletown,  the  succession 
being  Flemington,  Kingwood,  First  Hopewell  and  Middletown.  Five 
were  licensed  to  preach  in  the  pastorate  of  Mr.  Bartolette.  Three 
were  ordained  upon  the  call  of  Flemington  church.  Of  these,  were 
the  two  brothers,  Thomas  and  Edward  Barrass.  They  labored  and 
suffered  in  destitute  places  and  served  needy  churches;  that  but  for 
such  men,  would  have  been  wholly  destitute.  Another  of  the  three 
ordained  at  Flemington  was  William  Pollard. 

All  of  them  were  earnest,  able  preachers  and  had  an  enviable  record 
among  ministers  and  churches.  Usually  our  early  ministers  were 
men  who  travelled  far  and  near;  often  were  hungry  and  poorly  clothed, 
choosing  sacrifice  and  hardship,  rather  than  leaving  a  call  unanswered, 
or  an  opportunity  for  service  unmet.  Then  and  now.  New  Jersey  has 
had  and  has,  noble,  devoted  men  who  delight  in  sacrifice  for  the  privi- 
lege of  service.  Thus  also,  they  are  everywhere;  whose  whole  purpose 
in  li^dng  is,  likeness  to  the  Divine  One,  who  "gave  himself  for  us." 
Mr.  Bartolette  spent  the  evening  of  his  days  among  the  people  to  whom 
he  had  ministered.  Their  love  clung  to  him  as  a  mantle.  He  died  in 
1852,  sixty-eight  years  old.     He  had  only  one  settlement  as  pastor. 

Rev.  C.  W.  Mulford  having  been  called  to  be  pastor,  entered  on 
his  official  duties  in  the  fall  of  1846.  Mr.  Mulford  was  quite  unlike 
his  predecessor.  Mr.  Bartolette  was  a  sedate  man  both  in  the  pulpit 
and  in  social  life.  Mr.  Mulford  was  an  animated  preacher,  genial  in 
social  life.  His  charge  was  cut  short  by  a  bronchial  affection,  to  about 
three  years,  which  issued  in  his  death.  Rev.  L.  G.  Beck  followed  Mr. 
Mulford  in  1849  and  resigned  at  the  end  of  eighteen  months.  Mr. 
Beck  was  persistent  and  the  church  very  much  against  its  wishes, 


yielded.  While  pastor,  thirty-nine  members  were  dismissed  who  with 
ten  from  Kingwood  and  one  from  Bethlehem  were  constituted  the 
Cherryville  church. 

The  same  year  in  which  Mr.  Beck  closed  his  work  in  Flemington, 
1851,  Rev.  Thomas  Swain  was  called  to  be  pastor  and  immediately 
entered  the  pastoral  office.  He  remained  sixteen  years,  closing  his 
charge  in  April,  1867.  In  Mr.  Swain's  charge  two  were  licensed  and 
ten  members  were  dismissed  to  unite  with  seventy-eight  others,  in  the 
constitution  of  a  church  at  Croton.  Three  churches  have  sprung 
directly  from  Flemington,  Sandy  Ridge  in  1818,  Wertsville,  1836; 
Cherryville  1849.  At  both  Croton  and  Ringoes  however,  Flemington 
gave  efficient  aid  to  assure  the  maintenance  of  these  bodies.  It  is 
due  to  Cherryville  church  to  say  that  she  contributed  annually  for 
many  years  to  sustain  the  pastor  at  Croton.  It  is  also  fitting  to  credit 
the  Flemington  church  for  making  up  any  lack  of  local  mission  work, 
with  large  benevolent  offerings  to  send  the  Gospel  to  far  off  regions, 
correcting  thus,  a  misapprehension  of  a  people  responsive  to  the  needs 
of  the  needy. 

Rev.  E.  A.  Wood  succeeded  Mr.  Swain.  He  began  his  pastorate 
December  1st,  1868.  The  new  house  of  worship  begun  previous  to 
the  settlement  of  Pastor  Wood,  was  dedicated  in  1868.  Mr.  Wood 
gave  up  his  pastorate  at  Flemington  in  the  summer  of  1872.  A  few 
weeks  after  Rev.  T.  E.  Vasser  entered  upon  the  pastorate  and  con- 
tinued eight  years  resigning  in  1880.  Several  months  passed;  when 
Rev.  F.  L.  Chapell  began  his  pastoral  care  in  May,  1881,  remaining 
till  July,  1889.  On  April  1st,  1890,  Rev.  J.  E.  Sagebeer  settled  as  pas- 
tor and  resigned  to  close  his  pastorate  in  1898,  when  Rev.  L.  D.  Temple 
settled  as  pastor  and  was  in  charge  in  1900. 

Some  have  held  that  if  Flemington  had  compassed  herself  with 
Baptist  churches  and  developed  them  as  she  could  have  done  Flemington 
would  have  been  a  stronger  body  than  it  is.  This  is  true  of  other  Bap- 
tist churches  formed  before  and  since  1700.  Solomon  truly  said: 
"There  is  that  scatteth  and  yet  increaseth;  and  there  is  that  withholdeth 
more  than  is  meet,  but  it  tendeth  to  poverty."  However,  pastor  and 
church  are  the  best  judges  of  localities  and  of  the  wisdom  of  planting 
new  interests.  Most  worthy  and  memorable  men  have  come  out  of 
Flemington  church  who  were  licensed  to  preach.  Among  them  were 
Thomas  and  Edward  Barrass,  brothers,  and  William  Pollard.  These 
were  both  licensed  and  ordained  at  Flemington.  They  were  able 
preachers  and  could  command  and  hold  large  congregations.  Usually 
they  expended  their  strength  in  behalf  of  small  and  dependent  churches 


or  sought  out  fields  which  but  for  them  would  have  been  left  unculti- 
vated. Exclusive  of  Mr.  Hunt  and  of  Mr.  McLaughlin,  the  church 
has  had  nine  pastors,  one  of  whom  held  his  trust  for  about  thirty-four 

Three  houses  of  worship  have  been  in  use  by  the  church;  one 
built  under  the  ministry  of  Mr.  Sutton,  1766.  Another  in  1836,  under 
Mr.  Bartolette's  pastorate  and  a  third  in  1867-8,  and  a  vacant  pulpit. 
The  first  was  in  use  seventy-one  years;  the  second,  thirty-two  years. 
The  third  is  now  in  use  and  is  one  of  the  largest  and  in  its  appointments, 
one  of  the  best  Baptist  houses  in  the  State.  Several  members  have 
been  licensed  to  preach,  certainly  as  many  as  seven,  perhaps  others. 
More  than  one  thousand  converts  have  been  baptized  into  the  fellow- 
ship of  the  church  and  in  1900,  the  membership  was  within  a  fraction, 
five  hundred. 

Reference  to  churches  an  outgro^^th  of  Flemington,  must  include 
allusion  to  Rev.  C.  Bartolette,  pastor  of  Flemington  church.  Soon 
after  his  settlement,  he  distributed  his  labor  in  the  adjoining  sections 
of  which  the  church  was  a  center.  The  vicinities  of  Sandy  Ridge 
shared  largely  in  them.  On  the  Lord's  Day  in  summer,  he  preached 
in  the  homes  of  the  people.  In  winter,  on  week  evenings.  These 
ministries  had  fruit  and  on  the  24th  of  October,  1818,  nineteen  disciples 
constituted  themselves  the  Sandy  Ridge  Baptist  church.  The  Divine 
blessing  abode  upon  the  church  in  1819.  In  that  year  began  alternate 
preaching  between  Flemington  and  Sandy  Ridge  and  continued  for 
thirteen  years  and  till  the  increase  at  Flemington  demanded  Mr.  Bart- 
olette's entire  time. 

Upon  the  retirement  of  the  pastor  from  Sandy  Ridge,  Rev.  J. 
Wright  settled  there.  Prosperity  marked  the  j'ears,  1833,  1839  and 
1840.  Pastor  Wright,  after  a  useful  and  joyous  pastorate  of  more 
than  ten  years,  resigned.  Rev.  George  Young  entered  on  pastoral 
duties  in  the  spring  of  1843,  remaining  three  and  more  years,  having 
continuous  prosperity.  After  Mr.  Young  followed  Rev.  J.  E.  Rue, 
1847-1850.  In  this  time  ground  was  bought  and  a  parsonage  built. 
Rev.  J.  J.  Baker  succeeded  for  nearly  five  years,  1850-54.  Mr.  Baker 
had  a  useful  and  happy  charge.  Rev.  J.  Timberman  was  pastor, 
1854-57.  For  nine  years  from  1858  to  1867,  Rev.  S.  Sproul  ministered 
to  the  church.  1858,  1860  and  1862  were  special  seasons  of  spiritual 
harvesting.  At  a  mission  station  in  Stockton,  north  of  Sandy  Ridge, 
on  the  river  Delaware,  a  substantial  meeting  house  was  built,  to  which 
a  colony  was  sent  in  1868.  The  Sandy  Ridge  church  built  a  large, 
stone  house  of  worship  in  1866.  The  old  house  erected  in  1817  had 
been  outgrown  and  was  entirely  too  small  to  accommodate  the  con- 


gregation.  It  was  not  dedicated,  however,  until  a  few  weeks  after 
the  former  pastor,  George  Young's  second  pastorate  had  begun. 

The  pastoral  charge  of  Rev.  S.  Sproul  was  an  era  of  attainment 
both  at  home  and  abroad.  Its  longer  continuance  in  contrast  with 
other  short  pastorates,  had  much  to  do  with  its  efficiency.  The  man 
himself,  Mr.  Sproul,  must  not  be  left  out  of  the  accounting.  Events 
show  that  pastors  come  into  the  right  place  at  the  right  time  and  have 
specialties  in  their  ministerial  career,  which  are  exceptional  to  them- 
selves and  to  the  churches  they  serve.  Pastor  Sproul,  judging  by  the 
fruits  of  his  labors  had  such  an  experience  at  Sandy  Ridge.  A  period 
of  "supplies"  continued  till  the  second  settlement  of  Rev.  George 
Young,  beginning  anew  in  November,  1867,  and  in  the  same  month 
the  new  house  of  worship  was  dedicated.  Pastor  Young  resigned  in 
January,  1872,  "supplying"  the  church  for  some  time  after,  however. 
Rev.  B.  R.  Black  was  pastor  1873-76.  A.  W.  Peck  was  pastor  for 
a  little  while. 

In  the  spring  of  1878,  Rev.  George  Young  held  the  pastoral  office 
for  the  third  time  and  remained  two  years;  the  welfare  of  the  church 
was  much  improved  in  these  years.  Rev.  M.  B.  Lanning  followed 
1881-5.  His  service  was  helpful  in  all  respects.  Stockton  church 
united  with  the  mother  church,  in  a  joint  pastorate  under  Rev.  A. 
Cauldwell.  Churches,  in  small  villages  and  rural  districts  are  quite 
sensitive  to  financial  changes  in  commercial  centers,  also  the  tendency 
of  young  people  and  of  capital  to  the  cities  seriously  impairs  their 
strength.  Some  such,  once  the  stay  of  the  denomination,  have  been 
reduced  by  this  current  abroad  to  weakness.  Mr.  Cauldwell  resigned 
in  the  spring  of  1888.  Destitute  of  pastoral  care  until  1890,  needed 
repairs  on^the  church  edifice  and  on  the  parsonage  were  made  in  the 

Rev.  G.  H.  Larison,  M.  D.,  became  pastor  in  1890,  being  pastor 
also  at  Rlngoes,  preaching  at  Sandy  Ridge  in  the  afternoon  and  at 
Ringoes,  morning  and  evening.  While  in  the  midst  of  a  work  of  grace, 
he  died  in  1892,  as  a  result  of  his  intense  overwork.  (See  history  of 
Ringoes  for  an  account  of  his  wonderful  labors.)  A  wonderful  man! 
As  "supply,"  Rev.  C.  A.  Mott  ministered  at  Sandy  Ridge  from  1894  to 
May,  1897,  when  Rev.  W.  G.  Robinson  settled  and  is  now  (1900)  pastor. 

Sandy  Ridge  has  had  sixteen  pastors.  Three  of  which  have  been 
joint  pastorates  with  other  churches  and  one  of  them  has  been  three 
times  in  charge  of  the  church  and  another  died  and  closed  his  ministry 
on  earth.  A  goodly  number  have  been  licensed  to  preach,  Messrs. 
C.  E.  and  W.  V.  Wilson,  brothers,  W.  E.  Lock,  A.  Ammermen,  E.  C. 
Romine,  and  the  brothers,  Judge  J.  and  J.  C.  Buchanan,  but  for  the 


removal  of  their  father  from  Sandy  Ridge,  would  have  been  in  the 
number  of  men  of  mark  from  the  church. 

Education  and  schools  had  a  place  in  the  plans  of  these  people. 
One  of  them,  Robert  Rittenhouse,  founded  a  Manual  Labor  School 
in  1831  in  his  own  home,  which  involved  his  entire  "means."  Later 
he  bought  a  more  satisfactory  property  and  widened  his  work.  Pro- 
fessors were  engaged  and  the  school  only  closed  when  Mr.  Rittenliouse 
had  exhausted  his  private  resources.  (On  education,  a  more  complete 
account  of  this  school  which  is  given  by  Rev.  W.  V.  Wilson,  one  of 
its  early  students.)  This  is  wa.s  one  of  the  eight  schools  that  gave  New 
Jersey  pre-eminence  in  the  colonies  and  the  states,  both  as  to  their 
early  origin  and  their  foremost  place  in  the  schools  of  the  land  and  adds 
to  the  folly  of  the  removal  of  Hopewell  school  to  Rhode  Island  from  its 
natural  and  proper  home.  The  two  schools,  at  Bridgeton  and  Hights- 
town  are  not  included  in  these  eight.  Under  the  Divine  hand,  strength 
and  power  are  developed  from  a  source  which  men  judge  of  little  worth. 
Thus  Sandy  Ridge,  a  plain  people,  isolated  from  the  centers  of  busy 
life,  send  out  men  whom  God  honors  with  the  largest  usefulness. 

Their  unworldliness  was  told  to  the  writer  by  a  venerable  woman, 
once  a  member  of  the  church,  now  nearly  a  hundred  years  since,  and 
said:  "It  was  customary  for  mothers  to  bring  their  infants  to  church 
and  rocking  chairs  to  church  and  other  needful  things  of  infanthood 
and  exercise  the  needful  offices  of  maternity."  Although  primitive, 
these  Godly  women  trained  giants  to  bless  the  world.  Two  houses  of 
worship  have  served  the  church.     One  built  in  1817,  another  built  in 

1866,  corresponding  in  size  to  the  large  growth  of  the  church.  A 
third  was  built  at  Stockton,  a  mission  station,  whither  the  church 
sent  a  colony  of  forty-five  members  to  organize  a  church. 

Rev.  Messrs.  Joseph  Right,  J.  J.  Baker,  A.  W.  Wigg  and  A.  Arm- 
strong are  tenderly  remembered  as  having  done  mission  work  in  Stock- 
ton long  before  a  Baptist  church  was  established  there.  By  the 
persistent  efforts  of  Rev.  S.  Sproul  of  Sandy  Ridge,  a  house  of  worship 
was  built  in  Stockton  and  dedicated  in  1861.  Messrs.  Bartle  and  A. 
Van  Sycle  gave  lots  for  the  building.  Pastor  Sproul  preached  at 
Stockton  on  alternate  Lord's  Day  afternoons.  In  1865,  Baptists  in 
Stockton  had  increased  and  agreed  to  organize  a  church.  Letters 
were  given  to  forty-five  and  on  January,  27,  1866,  formed  a  Baptist 
church.  Continuous  meetings  were  held  at  the  time  and  many  persons 
were  converted.  Rev.  C.  E.  Cordo  became  pastor  in  March,  1866, 
and  gathered  the  harvest  and  closed  his  labors  at  Stockton  in  July 

1867.  Mr.  J.  S.  Hutton  was  ordained  for  pastor  ending  his  charge  of 
three  years  in  September  1871.     In  1868,  Deacon  Wilson  of  Sandy 


Ridge,  (father  of  C.  E.  and  Wm.  V.  Wilson)  bought  a  lot  and  gave  it 
to  the  Stockton  church  for  a  parsonage  and  soon  after  the  parsonage 
was  built.  The  succession  of  pastors  was:  A.  Cauldwell,  1871-75; 
B.  F.  Robb,  ordained  October  1875-79;  Mr.  Noecker  ordained  1879. 
Pastor  A.  Cauldwell  returned  to  his  old  charge  in  1882-88.  Its  last 
two  years  was  a  joint  pastorate  at  Sandy  Ridge.  C.  W.  O.  Nyce,  1890; 
J.  Huffnagle,  1890-92.  "Stated  supplies"  served  the  church  for  seven 
years  to  May  1899.  In  that  year,  Rev.  E.  E.  Krauss  entered  the 
pastorate,  and  was  pastor  in  1900.  Mission  work  had  begun  con- 
temporaneously in  Stockton  and  in  Frenchtown  along  in  1850-59. 

Both  of  them  were  manufacturing  towns  on  the  Delaware  river. 
The  churches  and  the  houses  of  worship  were  undertaken  in  the  same 
years.  Churches,  in  manufacturing  places  are  subject  to  the  financial 
conditions  of  the  market  and  to  a  changing  and  often,  to  a  transient 
population,  and  if  they  do  not  have  an  endowment  in  financial  crises, 
the  pastor  is  the  chief  burden  bearer.  Straits  of  a  reduced  salary 
often  compel  pastors  to  change  when  they  ought  not  to.  A  wife 
overborn  with  hardships  of  economizing,  children  deprived  of  an 
education  which  educated  parents  know  the  value  of  is  a  compulsion 
in  the  Divine  instruction  of  I.  Timothy,  5:8. 

Stockton  has  had  eight  pastors,  one  of  whom  held  the  office  twice 
and  was  part  of  the  time  joint  pastor  of  the  mother  church.  The 
house  of  worship  built  under  Mr.  Sproul  in  1861,  of  Sandy  Ridge,  is 
still  in  use.  The  outlook  of  the  church  for  growth  and  large  mem- 
bership is  not  brilliant,  owing  to  a  limited  field  and  to  being  encom- 
passed by  older  and  influential  Baptist  churches. 

The  constituency  of  Wertsville  church  was  from  Flemington 
church.  Its  origin  was  unique,  much  like  that  of  Ledge  wood  and 
wholly  -nithout  action  by  the  maternal  church.  On  March  1,  1834, 
a  meeting  was  called  at  the  school  house  of  those  favorable  to  the 
building  of  a  Baptist  house  of  worship  in  Wertsville.  Baptists  who 
eventuaUy  formed  the  Baptist  church,  numbered  only  eight  persons. 

Although  the  number  was  small,  it  included  men  and  women  of 
generous  ideas  and  plans.  Having  discussed  the  matter,  the  meeting 
adjourned  to  the  22nd  inst.,  when  final  action  was  taken  and  articles 
of  association  were  adopted,  one  of  which  read:  "When  a  church 
shall  have  been  constituted  at  said  meeting  house  upon  the  doctrines 
and  principles  usually  held  and  practiced  by  Baptist  churches;  then 
said  church  shall  have  the  free  use  of  the  house  and  all  other  property 
pertaining  thereto."  Article  2  provided:  "The  name  shall  never  be 
changed  to  any  other  denomination."  These  Baptists  knew  what 
they  wanted  and  that  the  thing  wanted  be  made  sure.     James  Servis 


and  Betsey  Hoagland  gave  one  acre  of  land  as  the  site  for  the  meeting 
house  and  burying  ground  forever."     A  house  40x48  was  built  of 
stone  on  this  lot.     A  large  house  for  eight  people  to  erect  for  their 
use.     They  must  have  had  in  mind  the  saying,  "Still  there  is  room." 
We  have  no  further  account  of  this  church  edifice. 

But  on  October  1836,  a  council  recognized  these  eight  persons  as 
a  Baptist  church.  Their  names  were  N.  O.  Durham  and  Mary,  Malon 
Higgins  and  Ann,  Abraham  S.  Van  Doren,  Abraham  Larison,  Mary 
Carr  and  Elizabeth  Young,  four  men  and  four  women.  Rev.  William 
Pollard  was  their  beloved  pastor  for  the  next  three  years.  Enfeebled 
with  sickness  while  pastor,  he  died  on  November  30th,  1839.  The 
church  under  his  labors  had  grown  to  be  a  strong  and  numerous  body. 

On  the  Lord's  Day,  after  the  recognition  of  the  church,  a  husband 
and  wife  were  baptized.  Rev.  William  Pollard  became  pastor  and 
though  quite  infirm,  remained  three  years  and  died  on  November  30th, 
1839.  Under  his  labors  the  church  grew  to  be  a  strong  and  numerous 
body:  Other  pastors  were:  J.  Spencer,  1840-41;  J.  Wright,  having 
a  joint  pastorate  with  Sandy  Ridge  from  1842  and  after  at  Wertsville 
only  till  1849;  Eph'm  Sheppard,  1849-56;  George  Young,  1856-7;  Sam- 
uel Cox,  ordained  June  10th,  1858-60;  J.  Beldon,  1861-65;  then  two 
years  of  supphes;  S.  Seigfried,  1867-69;  J.  Wright,  second  charge, 
1869-73;  suffered  a  long  illness  in  1873,  aged  seventy-seven  years. 
J.  M.  Helsley,  1877-78;  H.  A.  Chapman,  1882-89,  had  a  season  of 
revival.  Mr.  Chapman  was  an  art  and  mechanical  genius.  The 
house  was  transformed  under  his  oversight  and  by  his  hand,  passing 
description  in  originality  and  beauty.  Mr.  Chapman  completed  the 
reconstruction  without  cost  to  the  church.  The  small  salary  did  not 
retain  Mr.  Chapman.  Nor  did  the  Mission  Board  appropriate  the 
necessary  funds  for  his  support.  Managers  of  missions  err,  as  do 
men  in  their  private  affairs.  After  nearly  two  years  from  Mr.  Chap- 
man's going  away,  G.  W.  Leonard  settled  as  pastor  in  1891-93.  Then 
was  a  period  of  "supplies"  for  five  years,  and  the  Rev.  J.  H.  Denning 
settled  and  retired  in  1899.  Mr.  H.  W.  Moore,  a  student  ministered  for 
some  time.  The  Church  has  but  the  one  house  built,  1834-36,  which 
was  renewed  by  Mr.  Chapman. 

There  have  been  sixteen  pastors  and  long  intervals  of  "supplies." 
One  pastor  has  died,  another  has  retired  in  his  old  age  and  he  had  l)een 
pastor  twice.  Wertsville  is  a  rural  church  and  the  nearby  Flemington 
is  attractive,  being  large  and  influential. 

Cherryville  is  about  four  miles  from  Flemington  and  is  on  the  hills. 
A  fact  that  removes  it  far  off.  The  church  was  organized  with  forty- 
nine  members,  of  them  nine  were  from  Kingwood,  one  from  Bethlehem, 


and  thirty-nine  from  Flemington.  On  October  2nd,  1849,  Baptists 
met  in  the  home  of  one  of  their  members;  adopted  articles  of  faith, 
and  covenant  and  organized  themselves  into  a  Baptist  Church.  The 
Church  located  itself  in  the  village,  the  name  of  which  it  bears. 

The  Board  of  the  Baptist  State  Convention  had  sent  a  missionary 
on  the  field:  Rev.  E.R.  Hera.  Pastor  Bartolette  and  the  Barrass  brothers, 
also  of  the  Flemington  Church,  had  long  since  been  preaching  in  these 
various  localities.  Mr.  Hera  began  his  work  in  April,  1849,  and  in  the 
next  October  the  Cherryville  Church  was  constituted.  Of  natural  loca- 
tions, Cherryville  was  nearest  to  Flemington.  Two  miles  West  was 
more  central,  but  the  largest  nucleous  of  members  was  in  Cherryville. 
Mr.  Hera  was  the  first  pastor  in  1850  and  continued  until  July,  1853, 
having  been  on  the  field  four  years.  "Supplies"  served  the  church  till 
July,  1854. 

In  1850,  a  good  meeting  house  was  built  on  the  lot  given  by  David 
Everitt.  The  location  was  out  of  the  way  on  a  beautiful  knowl,  suitable 
for  a  cemetery  for  the  dead,  but  not  for  a  site  for  a  living  church.  When, 
in  1881-2,  the  house  was  remodeled,  the  pastor  used  every  reasonable 
influence  to  remove  the  house  to  where  it  ought  to  have  first  been  put, 
on  the  corner  lot  at  the  foot  of  the  hill,  among  the  homes  of  the  village. 
But  it  was  objected,  "then  we  will  have  to  move  the  horse  sheds!" 

Mr.  Hera  had  a  useful  pastorate.  The  church  was  in  entire  accord 
and  free  from  debt.  Mr.  B.  Stelle  became  pastor  in  July,  1854.  He 
won  a  large  place  in  the  love  of  his  people  and  in  the  midst  of  usefulness 
was  summoned  to  his  reward  on  high  in  August,  1864.  Within  a  few 
months  Rev.  W.  D.  Hires  took  charge  of  the  church.  He  resigned  in 
1867.  As  in  other  of  his  pastorates,  Mr.  Hires  left  the  impress  of  him- 
self on  the  church.  An  inspirer  of  men  and  women  to  attain  to  the 
highest  aims.  The  church  made  a  great  advance  under  his  labors. 
In  1867,  Rev.  William  Humpstone  was  pastor  both  at  Cherryville  and 
Croton.  His  stay  was  only  ten  months.  Limited  in  mental  quality 
and  lacking  culture,  he  was  the  opposite  of  his  predecessor.  Then,  as 
now,  culture  is  valued  by  all.  Mr.  Humpstone  was  a  good  man, 
thoroughly  earnest  and  had  many  tokens  of  divine  blessing  on  his 

"Supplies"  ministered  to  the  people  till  April,  1869,  when  Pi,ev.  E. 
S.  Lear  entered  the  pastoral  office.  Before  his  settlement  a  parsonage 
was  bought  and  paid  for.  Cherryville  had  very  ample  financial  re- 
sources. Rev.  C.  E.  Young  occupied  the  pastorate  more  than  five 
years.  Most  unexpectedly  death  changed  the  scene  of  his  service  from 
earth  to  heaven,  in  August,  1876.  Mr.  Young  was  greatly  beloved.  A 
career  of  expanding  usefulness  and  of  the  fairest  hopes  was   strangely 


and  suddenly  cut  off  in  his  youth.  First  as  "supply"  and  then  as  pastor, 
Rev.  M.  B.  Laning  served  the  church  four  years  and  more. 

His  successor  was  Rev.  T.  S.  Griffiths  who  settled  in  1881  and 
resigned  in  1885,  but  supplied  the  pulpit  from  November  till  the  next 
spring.  Pastor  Griffiths  accepted  the  call  only  upon  the  personal  so- 
licitation of  the  senior  deacon,  H.  Deats,  when  he  said:  "The  call  is 
unanimous  and  if  you  do  not  come,  I  do  not  know  what  the  result  will 
be  to  the  church."  There  had  been  serious  disagreements  previously. 
Also,  upon  the  condition  that  the  meeting  house  be  renovated.  Before 
accepting  the  call  a  church  meeting  was  held,  and  Mr.  Griffiths  was  pres- 
ent. It  was  decided  to  expend  four  thousand  dollars  for  improvements 
of  the  house  of  worship,  and  the  amount  was  subscribed  within  half  an 
hour.  The  senior  deacon,  H.  Deats,  saying,  as  was  his  want,  "Brethren, 
I  will  take  my  corner."  Later  plans  involved  an  outlay  of  about  eight 
thousand  dollars.  The  entire  cost  of  the  rebuilding  was  paid  before  the 
house  was  reopened.  It  was  one  of  the  most  beautiful,  attractive  and 
convenient  country  meeting  houses  in  the  State.  Of  the  old  edifice, 
nothing  was  retained  except  the  frame  and  the  floor,  and  additions  were 
made  to  the  front  for  a  steeple  and  to  the  rear  for  a  baptismal  and  social 
meetings.  In  1887,  Mr.  Griffiths  learned  that  a  new  parsonage  was  not 
begun  and  meeting  Mr.  Deats  entreated  him  to  see  that  it  was  begun 
at  once  and  before  he  died.  He  did  so.  But  he  died  before  it  was 
completed.  Early  in  1886,  Pastor  W.  F.  Smith  settled  and  remained 
till  April,  1890,  Rev.  I.  D.  Mallery  followed  in  February,  1891,  to 
1897.  In  August,  1897,  Rev.  A.  E.  Finn  became  pastor  and  is  now 
(1900)  pastor. 

The  church  has  had  eleven  pastors,  two  of  whom  died  and  thus 
closed  their  pastoral  career.  The  longest  term  was  ten  years.  The 
shortest  ten  months.  Two  of  the  pastors  had  joint  pastorates  with 
Croton  church.  While  Cherryville  has  not  sent  out  colonies,  it  has 
given  largely  and  for  many  years,  to  aid  Croton  to  sustain  a  pastor. 
Other  churches  in  Hunterdon  and  in  Warren  counties  have  also  been 
cared  for  by  Cherryville  church.  Deacon  H.  Deats  was  a  constant 
helper.  The  house  at  Washington,  N.  J.,  lingered  for  years.  But 
when  Mr.  Deats  and  Cherryville  took  hold  of  it,  the  house  was  soon 
completed.  On  one  Lord's  Day  morning,  five  hundred  dollars  were 
raised  for  the  building  at  Washington  by  Cherryville  church. 



Second  Hopewell  sprang  from  First  Hopewell  when  First  Hope- 
well was  a  missionary  church  and  was  organized  in  1803, (page  319, 
Minutes  of  Philadelphia  Association,  October,  1803.)  with  a  member- 
ship of  twenty-eight.  In  1804,  it  had  twenty-three  additions  by 
baptism.  Twelve  years  went  by,  before  a  pastor  ministered  to  it. 
First  Hopewell  pastor  supplied  it.  Second  Hopewell  was  a  constituent 
of  the  New  Jersey  Association  formed  in  1811.  In  1815,  Rev.  William 
E.  Ashton  was  the  first  pastor  for  one  year. 

Glimpses  behind  the  curtain  show  that  people  were  as  hard  to 
please  then,  as  now,  and  as  ready  to  take  offense  as  in  our  days.  Pas- 
tors were  as  much  as  now,  persons  on  whom  the  disgruntled  vented 
their  displeasure.  Human  nature  is  the  same,  whether  it  is  Noah, 
Christ  or  Spurgeon,  who  preaches.  The  succession  of  pastors  was, 
A.  Hastmgs,  1816-21;  J.  H.  Kennard,  1822-24;  could  have  staid  till  he 
died,  but  Zion's  King  had  other  use  for  him  in  the  city  where  he  min- 
istered many  years  in  its  tenth  church.  Samuel  Trott,  1827-30.  An 
antinomian,  his  influence  determined  the  withdrawal  of  the  church 
from  the  Baptist  faith  and  plunged  it  into  antinomianism,  also  upon 
the  venerable  and  infirm  pastor  of  First  Hopewell.  Mr.  Boggs,  who 
also  with  his  church  lost  their  footing  on  the  grace  of  salvation  and 
were  swept  into  the  antinomian  bog.  S.  Trott  was  pastor  of  Second 
Hopewell  in  1829  and  C.  Suydam  in  1832.  In  1835  the  Association 
referred  the  letters  of  First  and  Second  Hopewell  to  Brethren  Wright 
and  Stites.  Their  report  was  adopted  and  agreeable  there  to.  (See 
Minutes  of  1835,  page  3,  item  26,)  "the  names  of  said  churches  were 
dropped  from  our  minutes."  Second  Hopewell  lingered  the  life  of 
a  weakling. 

Outside  of  its  locality  (Harbourton)  it  is  spoken  of  as  "dead." 
Pastors  of  First  Hopewell  (living  on  its  original  vitality)  preach  at 
Kingwood  and  Second  Hopewell,  keeping  up  a  nominal  existence. 
Strange  it  is,  but  Second  Hopewell  has  an  active  Christian  offshoot, 
Lambertville,  which  while  it  does  not  repudiate  its  maternity,  does 
not  glory  in  it.  Under  the  Christian  influences  at  Lambertville,  the 
Baptist  church  there  was  saved  from  the  wreck  that  overtook  First 


and  Second  Hopewell.  Second  Hopewell  located  at  Harbourton  and 
there  was  the  opened  grave  and  the  coffined  tenant,  which  the  daugh- 
ter prays  that  it  might  have  a  "resurrection  unto  life." 

While  J.  H.  Kennard  was  pastor  of  Second  Hopewell  (Harbourton, 
near  Lambertville,)  in  1822-24,  he  occasionally  preached  in  Lambert- 
ville  at  the  home  of  Phillip  Marshall  and  of  William  Garrison,  mem- 
bers of  Second  Hopewell  church.  Other  Baptist  ministers,  also 
preached  at  the  houses  of  other  Baptists  living  in  Lambertville.  Sandy 
Ridge  was  more  accessible  from  Lambertville  than  Harbourton  and 
Baptists  in  New  Hope  worshipped  at  Sandy  Ridge  before  the  organ- 
ization of  the  Lambertville  church. 

The  Baptist  church  in  Lambertville  was  constituted  on  February 
10th,  1825,  with  but  five  members.  Within  a  short  time,  Rev.  J. 
Booth  united  with  the  church  by  lettter  and  alternated  with  Rev.  J. 
McLaughlin  as  "supplies."  Mr.  McLaughlin  had  been  twice  pastor 
at  Kingwood  and  was  well  known  at  Second  Hopewell  and  its  out 
stations.  At  the  first  business  meeting  in  Lambertville  church,  it 
was  resolved  to  build  a  house  of  worship  and  the  lot  on  which  their 
meeting  house  is,  was  bought  and  the  church  edifice  dedicated  in 
October,  1825.  A  minute  in  the  church  book  reads-  "Lord's  Day, 
August  7th,  1825,  the  church  met  at  Mr.  Blodgett's,  from  thence  went 
to  the  Delaware  River,  because  there  "was  much  water  there,"  and 
Mrs.  Blodgett  was  baptized.  Rev.  Samuel  Trott  was  called  in  con- 
nection with  Second  Hopewell,  preaching  alternately  at  each  place. 
Mr.  Trott  being  an  antinomian,  sowed  the  seeds  which  developed  in 
Hopewell  to  its  extinction  and  impregnated  Lambertville,  impressing 
some  young  men  licensed  to  preach  with  his  false  teaching.  Among 
them  Mr.  B.  D.  Stout,  who  was  chosen  as  a  "supply"  and  soon  after 
was  ordained  and  finally  called  to  be  pastor  serving  as  such  for  five 
years.  Mr.  Stout's  father  was  a  Deacon  of  the  church  and  for  years 
its  only  male  member. 

Providentially,  Lambertville  church  was  compassed  with  Christian 
influences  and  both  the  church  and  Mr.  Stout  saved  from  the  snare 
of  falsehood.  The  pastorate  of  Mr.  -Stout  was  prosperous.  The 
membership  increased  more  than  fourfold,  even  though  by  a  division, 
many  were  dismissed  to  Second  Hopewell  and  other  antimission 
churches.  A  succession  of  short  pastorates  followed  Mr.  Stout's 
removal  to  Middletown  in  1837:  Mr.  Daniel  Kelsay  was  ordained 
about  May  1837.  Rev.  J.  Segur  followed  in  1838.  Interims  of  pastors 
occurred.  Rev.  George  Young  was  pastor  early  in  the  1840's.  J.  B. 
Walter  closed  his  charge  in  1843,  who  with  twenty-three  members 
were  dismissed  to  constitute  the  Solebury  church  in   Pennsylvania. 


A  second  pastorate  of  George  Young  occurred  till  January  1845. 
Mr.  William  B.  Shrope  was  "supply"  and  then  pastor  until  April  1849. 
Many  were  added  by  baptism  under  his  labors.  Rev.  J.  Davis  followed 
from  May  1849  to  1850.  A  year  of  "supplies"  came,  when 
in  1851,  Rev.  A.  Armstrong  became  pastor,  resigning  in  1860.  A 
parsonage  was  built  in  this  charge.  As  yet  the  longest  pastorate  the 
church  has  had.  Rev.  H.  A.  Cordo  served  as  pastor,  18G1-64,  after 
whom  Rev.  F.  Johnson  had  a  short  stay  and  Rev.  C.  E.  Young  followed 
for  about  three  years.  A.  D.  WilUfer,  who  settled  in  1809,  was 
excluded  for  immoralities  in  1873.  Rev.  C.  H.  Thomas  was  pastor 
five  years  and  Rev.  W.  M.  Wick  for  four  years. 

In  1883,  a  new  and  costly  house  of  worship  was  dedicated.  The 
building  had  been  in  progress  since  September,  1868  and  in  March 
1870,  the  basement  was  used  for  worship.  In  the  meantime,  interest 
on  an  enormous  debt  and  the  progress  of  the  house  by  annual  dribs, 
tested  the  endurance  of  the  church  and  was  a  burden  and  hindrance 
to  all  prosperit3\  A  recent  pastor  said  to  the  writer  that,  "When  he 
hears  the  fire  bells  he  hopes  it  is  the  Baptist  church  edifice."  The 
building  in  design,  in  acoustics  and  in  cost  is  an  affliction.  Rev.  C.  H. 
Woolston  was  pastor  1885-87;  W.  W.  Bullock,  1887-91;  F.  H.  Cooper, 
1892;  E.M.  Lightfoot,  1894-97;  a  former  pastor,  H.  A.  Cordo,  1898-1900. 

LambertAdlle  has  had  twenty-one  pastors.  Two  of  them  have  had 
second  charges.  Seven  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach.  Two 
were  ordained  at  home  and  one  to  be  pastor  where  he  had  been  bap- 
tized and  licensed.  Two  churches  have  gone  out  of  Lambertville, 
Solebury,  Penn.,  and  Ringoes,  each  of  which  were  originated  by  G.  H. 
Larison,  M.  D.,  who  was  licensed  and  ordained  by  Lambertville  church. 
(See  History  of  Ringoes  church.)  In  May  1839,  the  manufacture, 
sale  and  habitual  use  of  intoxicants  was  made  a  disciplinary  offence 
and  membership  was  denied  to  any  unwilling  to  comply  with  the  rule. 
An  early  antinomian  element  in  the  church,  the  blighting  influence  of 
the  mother  church,  the  long,  hard  struggle  under  the  burden  of  debt 
to  build  their  new  house  of  worship  (which  was  an  extremity  of  folly 
into  which  the  church  was  led  by  unwise  and  heedless  pastors;) 
evinces  the  devotion  of  these  Baptists;  their  love  of  the  truth  and 
their  purpose  to  maintain  it. 

Ringoes  is  in  Hunterdon  county  about  six  miles  from  Fleming- 
ton.  Baptist  interests  there  had  their  earliest  paternity  in  the  King- 
wood  Baptist  church  (now  Baptisttown)  whose  pastors  made  it  a 
mission  station.  Ringoes  is  not  referred  to  in  the  minutes  of  the 
Flemington  church  till  long  after  Dr.  Larison  of  Lambertville  had 
developed  Baptist  interests  in  and  about  the  town.     Still  it  is  certain 


that  such  a  pastor  as  C.  Bartolette  would  not  omit  it  from  his  labors. 

Lambertville,  however,  through  G.  H.  Larison,  M.  D.,  one  of  its 
most  active  and  inteUigent  members,  sought  out  Ringoes.  "He  can- 
vassed the  field  in  1867  with  the  village  as  a  center  finding  four  Baptists 
in  the  town  and  two  other  friends  of  Baptist  faith  willing  to  unite  and 
and  sustain  Baptist  meetings  in  Ringoes."  A  meeting  was  appointed 
at  the  office  of  C.  W.  Larison,  M.  D.,  of  Ringoes,  brother  of  Dr.  G.  H. 
Larison  of  Lambertville.  When  a  committee  was  chosen  to  find  a 
room  in  which  to  hold  meetings  and  to  report  at  an  adjourned  meeting 
next  week  in  the  office  of  Dr.  C.  W.  Larison  of  Ringoes.  The  com- 
mittee reported  that  not  a  room  could  be  had  and  "that  not  even  the 
school  house  would  be  allowed  for  that  use."  A  numerous  Presbyterian 
church  was  in  the  village  and  controlled  the  schoolhouse  by  the  trustees. 
This  policy  illustrates  the  uniform  habit  by  Presbyterians  toward 
Baptists  and  interprets  their  pretense  of  union.  The  writer  knows 
of  worse  things  in  New  Jersey  of  them  than  this.  There  was  but  one 
other  place  in  the  village  where  Baptists  could  meet,  Dr.  C.  W.  Larison's 
office,  and  they  met  there  for  seven  weeks  on  Saturday  afternoons. 

In  October  thay  bought  a  large  plot  of  ground  and  paid  for  it. 
Trustees  were  chosen  to  hold  the  property  and  to  build  a  house  of 
worship.  The  church  edifice  was  built  in  1868.  The  church  was 
constituted  in  September  1868,  with  twelve  members,  about  a  year 
after  Mr.  Swain  resigned  at  Flemington.  The  constituents  represented 
three  churches,  Lambertville,  Sandy  Ridge  and  Flemington.  Another 
A.  B.  Larison,  M.  D.,  was  a  constituent  of  Sandy  Ridge.  "Supplies" 
served  the  church  until  January  1870,  when  Dr.  A.  B.  Larison  was 
called  to  be  pastor  and  was  ordained  in  February  1870. 

Dr.  Larison  while  a  surgeon  in  the  Civil  War,  1861-4  contracted  a 
fatal  disease,  which  terminated  his  life  and  his  earth  work  in  September 
1872,  not  however,  till  the  debt  for  the  house  of  worship  was  paid. 
Scores  of  converts  were  added  to  the  church,  while  he  was  pastor  and 
he  was  greatly  beloved.  Rev.  E.  I.  Pierce  entered  the  pastor's  office 
October  1873  and  resigned  early  in  1875.  T.  C.  Young  was  pastor  a 
year.  Mr.  Helsley  followed  and  was  ordained  in  June  1876,  closing 
his  pastoral  care  in  April  1882.  The  pastors  following  were:  F. 
Wilson,  a  year,  1883;  E.  M.  Gerald,  about  ten  months  in  1884.  Alien- 
ation came  and  the  house  of  worship  was  closed  for  nearly  six  months. 
The  sympathies  of  the  people  went  out  to  their  old  friend,  Dr.  G.  H. 
Larison  of  Lambertville,  who  had  entered  the  ministry. 

He  added  to  the  calls  of  his  medical  practice  the  duties  of  supply 
at  Ringoes,  beginning  there  in  July  1887.  Rising  very  early  on  the 
Lord's  Day  he  made  his  physician's  calls  and  rode   seven   miles   to 


Ringoes,  thence  six  miles  to  Sandy  Ridge,  preached  in  the  afternoon, 
returned  to  Ringoes,  preached  in  the  evening  and  then  seven  miles 
home  to  Lambertville;  in  all  twenty-six  miles;  three  sermons  and 
early  morning  physician's  visit  and  also  a  large  "practice  on  the  week 
days  at  home.  He  maintained  these  labors  for  about  five  years,  enjoying 
a  large  blessing  on  his  ministry.  It  will  not  be  a  surprise  that  he  died 
at  the  end  of  five  years  in  1892.  It  is  proper  to  add  that  this  good  man 
voluntarily  served  thus  at  his  own  cost. 

Rev.  G.  W.  Leonard  was  pastor  at  Ringoes  for  a  year  after  Dr. 
Larison's  death.  Early  in  1894,  Rev.  T.  C.  Young  began  a  pastorate 
of  about  two  years.  A  succession  of  pastors  was:  A.  Wells,  1896-98; 
G.  Poole,  1898-99.  Ringoes  Baptist  church  was  planted  in  a  Pedo 
Baptist  community  under  the  shadow  of  a  large  congregation  dis- 
avowing our  ideas  of  truth  and  of  duty  and  who  needed  the  better 
light  of  the  Gospel  of  grace.  Pedo  Baptists  are  helpless  in  the  light  of 
New  Testament  teaching.  Rev.  William  Grant  entered  the  pastor's 
office  in  1899  and  was  pastor  in  1900. 

Twelve  pastors  have  served  the  church.  Two  of  them  died  while 
pastors,  brothers  and  physicians.  Another  brother  and  physician 
was  a  resident  of  Ringoes.  One  of  these  brothers  held  the  pastoral 
office  twice.  A  sister  of  these  brothers  was  also  an  influential  woman, 
holding  a  high  educational  professorship  and  was  principal  of  an 
important  academy. 



Up  to  1786  the  Hightstown  Baptist  church  had  been  known  as 
the  Cranbury  Baptist  church;  named  at  Cranbury  from  its  original 
location  in  that  village,  about  two  miles  distant  from  Hightstown. 
The  church  removed  to  Hightstown  in  1785.  A  tradition  of  seventy 
and  more  years  since  was  an  arrangement  with  the  Presbyterians, 
that  if  the  Baptists  would  remove  to  Hightsto-noi,  the  Presbyterians 
would  leave  that  place  to  them  and  not  found  a  Presbyterian  church 
there.  It  is  too  late  to  verify  any  such  arrangement  and  if  made,  was 
only  verbal.  The  removal  however,  avoided  local  rivalries,  and 
afforded  opportunity  for  a  larger  number  of  people  to  hear  the  Gospel 
and  to  enjoy  the  privilege  of  religious  worship.  New  Jersey  was  a 
preferred  resort  for  Baptist  colonists  in  the  17th  century.  North,  east, 
west  and  south,  they  were  an  important  element  of  the  first  settlers. 
Of  those  locating  in  Monmouth  county.  Baptists  were  foremost  and 
most  numerous.     Their  influence  in  adjaent  sections  was  A-ery  great. 

The  Middletovra  Baptist  church  formed  in  1668  had  a  large  con- 
stituency and  widely  scattered.  The  country  included  a  very  large 
section  and  Middletown  township  included  a  large  part  of  the  county. 
Many  constituents  of  the  church  located  at  Upper  Freehold,  others 
at  Jacobstown  and  at  various  points  south  of  Hightstown.  Their 
wide  distribution,  involved  several  centers  where  houses  of  worship 
were  built,  the  people  themselves  evidently  having  ample  means  both 
to  provide  for  themselves  as  well  as  to  erect  many  places  of  worship, 
where  the  ordinances  of  baptism  and  the  Lord's  Supper  were  admin- 
istered and  pastors  from  the  original  church  preached  in  the  earliest 
periods  of  settlement  of  the  country.  It  fact,  the  same  mistake  was 
made  at  both  Holmdel  and  Upper  Freehold,  that  of  not  organizing 
new  churches.  Hohndel  would  then  have  retained  its  original  date 
and  Upper  Freehold  but  a  little  later,  1668.  These  bodies,  had 
with  First  Hopewell  and  Jacobstown  the  lineal  descendants  and  names 
of  the  constituents  of  the  original  Middletown  church.  Both  Cran- 
bury and  Hightstowm  were  on  the  route  of  pastors  from  either,  their 
homes  or  from  the  parsonage  at  Holmdel  to  Upper  Freehold,  where 
they  could  stop  and  preach  as  they  were  accustomed  to  do.  A  reason 
why  Cranbury  (Hightstown)  antedates  Upper  Freehold  is,  that  being 
nearer  the  mother  church,  it  would  have  the  sustaining  care  of  the  old 


church,  as  well  as  afford  to  Upper  Freehold  and  Jacobstown,  where 
many  constituents  of  Middletown  lived,  nearer  headquarters  of  Gospel 
ministries  and  of  the  ordinances. 

The  minutes  of  the  Philadelphia  Association(Minute  1745,  page  49, 
A.  B.  P.  Soc.  Ed.  1851.)  state:  "Agreed  and  concluded  pursuant 
to  requests  made  by  the  brethren  about  Cranbury,  that  our  brethren, 
Nathaniel  Jenkins  and  Jenkins  Jones  be  at  Cranbury,  Friday  the  first 
day  of  November,  in  order  to  settle  the  members  there,  in  church  order." 
Seventeen  persons  were  present,  members  of  the  Middletown  church, 
who  covenanted  with  each  other  as  a  Baptist  church,  a  Baptist  church 
distinctively.  Other  denominations  were  allied  to  reject  their  views 
of  New  Testament  teaching  and  Baptists  were  at  a  great  discount  as 
disciples  of  Christ.  This  opposition  was  to  Baptists  a  bond  of  unity 
and  of  assertion  of  their  faith,  inciting  them  to  exceeding  watchfulness 
lest  an  erroneous  minister  or  a  church,  come  into  their  fellowship.  Out 
of  this  grew  the  custom  of  asking  the  association  to  appoint  men  to  at- 
tend the  organization  of  a  church  and  the  ordination  of  a  minister. 
Numbers,  culture,  repute,  place  and  even  the  Baptist  idea  of  individu- 
ality were  wholly  subordinate  to  guarding  against  infection  by  error. 

Pastors  Jenkin  Jones,  of  Penepack,  Pa.,  and  Nathaniel  Jenkins  of 
Cohansie  were  present  November  1st,  1745,  in  Cranbury  "to  settle  the 
Baptists  there  in  church  order."  One  of  the  constituents  was  James 
Carman,  a  licentiate  of  Middletown  church.  The  organization  of  the 
church  was  probably  due  to  him,  he  having  been  "licensed  to  preach 
among  that  branch  of  the  Middletown  church  which  resided  at  Cran- 
bury." On  the  next  Lord's  Day,  November  3rd,  1745,  Mr.  Carman  was 
ordained  for  the  pastorate  of  the  new  church.  At  this  time  he  was 
sixty-seven  years  old,  a  time  of  life  in  which  men  are  considering  the 
question  of  retiring  from  public  life.  There  is  but  one  other  Baptist 
pastor  in  New  Jersey  ordained  so  late  in  life.  Rev.  C.  C.  Lathrop, 
ordained  at  Deckertown  in  1887,  when  sixty-nine  years  old.  Pastor 
Carman  was  a  remarkable  man.  Like  the  early  time  pastors,  he 
was  a  missionary  pastor.  Three  or  four  sermons  a  week,  forty  or 
more  miles  to  an  appointment  did  not  content  him;  now  in  Hunter- 
don county  and  then  in  New  York  City  were  chosen  opportunities  to 
do  "what  he  could."  When  seventy-four  years  old  he  was  an  appointed 
preacher  at  the  Philadelphia  Association. 

Rev.  Mr.  Parkinson,  pastor  of  the  First  Baptist  church  in  New 
York  City,  preached  a  historical  sermon  at  that  church  on  January  1st, 
1813,  and  says:  "After  which  (the  loss  of  former  ministries)  Rev. 
James  Carman  of  Cranbury  (Hightstown)  visited  them  and  baptized 
till  their  number  increased  to  thirteen  when,  they  were  advised  (prob- 


ably  by  Mr.  Carman)  to  unite  themselves  to  the  church  at  Scotch 
Plains  of  New  Jersey,  so  as  to  be  considered  a  branch  of  that  church 
and  to  have  Mr.  Miller,  its  pastor,  preach  and  administer  the  Lord's 
Supper  once  a  quarter."  This  was  in  1753,  the  eighth  year  of  Mr. 
Carman's  settlement,  when  he  was  at  least  seventy-four  or  seventy- 
five  years  old.  Note  the  wisdom  of  this  Council.  Pastor  Miller  was 
known  to  care  for  the  cause  of  Christ  wherever  his  charge.  Scotch 
Plains  was  the  nearest  accessible  church.  Mr.  Carman  was  an  old  man. 
New  York  City  was  at  least  fifty  miles  from  his  home  and  he  must 
ride  all  that  long  way  on  horseback  on  trails,  and  having  a  large  field 
at  home,  it  needed  his  whole  time  and  strength.  Thus  he  made  sure 
to  provide  for  the  New  York  Baptists,  not  only  one  of  the  ablest  men 
of  his  day,  but  also  one  of  the  most  devoted  men.  Mr.  Carman's  salary 
was  so  small  that  no  mention  is  made  of  it.  He  probably  made  these 
journeys  at  his  own  cost,  "for  Christ's  sake,"  was  the  law  of  his  life. 
He  died  in  1756,  at  the  age  of  seventy-eight  years,  having  been  pastor 
eleven  years. 

There  must  be  no  withholding  of  honor  or  credit  from  Scotch 
Plains  church,  nor  from  its  great  and  devoted  pastor,  Benjamin  Miller, 
for  their  part  in  laying  the  foundations  of  New  York  City  Baptist 
interests,  nor  from  the  man  who  suffered  hardships  and  self  denials 
to  plant  well  and  make  sure  the  seed  of  the  tree  under  the  shade  of 
which,  tens  of  thousands  sit,  and  the  fruit  of  which  has  been  a  blessing 
to  the  whole  earth.  Yet  such  a  man  as  James  Carman,  whose  prayers 
and  hardships  and  long  journeys  and  words  of  cheer  and  counsels  of 
wisdom  have  borne  fruit  in  the  prosperity  which  has  blessed  the  world, 
must  not  be  forgotten,  as  one  chosen  of  God  for  the  increase  in  which 
we  rejoice.  Having  finished  his  work,  the  good  man  died  and  was 
buried  near  the  old  meeting  house  in  Cranbury.  In  1899,  his  remains 
were  disinterred  and  buried  near  the  house  of  God  in  Hightstowm. 

An  interim  of  six  weary  pastorless  years  passed.  Then  Peter 
Wilson,  whom  Mr.  Carman  had  baptized  was  called  and  ordained  for 
the  pastorate  on  May  13th,  1782.  The  labors  of  this  man  were  apostolic 
whether  we  speak  of  the  long  and  frequent  journies  he  made  to  des- 
titute places;  to  his  incessant  labors;  to  his  cheerful  response  to  the 
calls  made  upon  him;  to  the  great  and  many  revivals  which  attended 
his  ministry,  or  to  the  eminent  men  whom  he  instrumentally  brought 
into  the  kingdom  of  righteousness.  The  story  of  his  life  and  work 
has  been  effectively  told  by  a  succeeding  pastor,  nearly  eighty  years 
after  Mr.  Wilson  had  gone  to  his'reward,*Rev.  O.  P.  Eaches.  That 
record  of  a  wonderfurman  and  his  no  less*wonderful  career,  is  more 
fittingly  told  than  could  be  by  a  comparative  stranger.      The  example 

niGlITSTOWN  115 

and  influence  of  his  pastor,  James  Carman,  was  very  positive  with  Mr. 
Wilson.  He  had  grown  up  under  it.  The  self  sacrifice  and  zeal  and 
devotion  of  pastor  Carman  had  vast  rewards  in  its  silent  training  of 
the  young  man,  who  later  would  stand  in  his  place.  After  Mr.  Wilson 
resigned  in  November,  1816,  he  still  supplied  the  church  till  June  1817, 
his  pastorate  really  lasting  thirty-five  years. 

How  immensely  his  wife  had  to  do  in  the  make-up  of  the  man, 
may  be  inferred  from  the  statement  of  Morgan  Edwards  of  her.  He 
said:  "It  should  not  be  forgotten  that  Mrs.  Wilson  encouraged  him 
in  his  wishes,  saying  she  would  go  to  the  washtub  or  take  a  hoe  in  her 
hand  rather  than  he  should  go  without  learning."  Who  can  limit  a 
man's  attainment  with  such  a  hallowed  home  inspiration?  Only  the 
grace  of  God  has  more  to  do  with  the  making  or  unmaking  of  a  man 
than  that  of  a  wife.  Her  name,  Mary  Fisher,  ought  to  be  enrolled 
among  the  nobility  of  our  churches. 

An  interim  of  eighteen  months  occurred  after  Mr.  Wilson  resigned, 
during  part  of  which,  Rev.  John  Seger  was  supply  and  on  May  1st,  1818, 
settled  as  pastor,  remaining  eighteen  years.  While  yet  in  business 
he  had  been  ordained  in  New  York  City  in  January  1873.  Mr.  Seger 
made  no  pretence  to  scholarship,  but  the  "Book  of  books"  was  his 
constant  study.  He  was  an  instructive  preacher  and  a  successful 
pastor,  having  frequent  and  large  accessions  of  baptized  converts. 
At  his  resignation  the  membership  of  the  church  was  one  third  larger 
than  when  he  became  pastor  and  it  was  the  largest  in  membership 
of  any  Baptist  church  in  the  State.  Mr.  Seger  was  President  of  the 
Convention  that  organized  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  State  Convention 
in  1830  at  Hamilton  Square. 

In  the  same  year  in  which  Pastor  Seger  resigned,  Rev.  C.  W. 
Mulford  entered  the  pastorate  in  December,  1836,  and  continued  pastor 
ten  years.  Mr.  Mulford  was  a  stanch,  out  spoken  temperance  man. 
Only  one  other  Baptist  minister,  oftener  and  more  imperatively  com- 
manded public  attention  to  the  subject,  Rev.  Samuel  Aaron.  Mr. 
Mulford  succeeded  M.  J.  Rhees  in  the  secretaryship  of  The  New  Jersey 
State  Convention.  Pastor  Rhees  removing  from  the  state  and  from 
being  secretary,  Rev.  C.  W.  Mulford  was  chosen  President  of  that 
body.  He  was  one  of  the  Quartette,  always  present  at  its  annual  and 
quarterly  meetings  of  the  Board,  Judge  P.  P.  Runyan,  G.  S.  Webb, 
S.  J.  Drake  and  C.  W.  Mulford,  men  always  ready  to  undertake  any 
service  for  the  promotion  of  the  interests  of  the  Baptist  churches  and 
cause  in  the  State  or  out  of  it.  Mr.  Mulford  died  at  Flemington  in 
1864  with  an  incurable  disease. 


Rev.  George  Young  followed  on  April  1st,  1847,  closing  his  pastoral 
care  at  Hightstown  in  April,  1851.  Mr.  Young's  pastorates  were 
always  short,  but  a  second  or  a  third  charge  in  the  same  church  was  a 
usual  thing  in  his  ministry.  He  was  a  highly  cultured  pastor,  exceeded 
by  few  in  his  day.  Had  he  contented  himself  with  continuance  in 
his  pastorates  he  would  have  been  a  greater  power  for  good.  But 
his  custom  of  scattering  himself  limited  him  in  all  respects. 

After  a  few  weeks,  Rev.  J.  B.  Saxton  became  pastor  at  Hights- 
town in  May  1851,  staying  only  till  October  1852.  On  the  following 
March  1853,  E.  M.  Barker  having  settled  remained  four  years.  Mr. 
Barker  was  a  conscientious  man  and  amusements  like  croquet  were 
only  evil  to  him.  Still  he  enjoyed  a  "smoke."  The  specialty  of  his 
charge  in  Hightstown  was  the  erection  of  the  spacious  and  creditable 
house  of  worship  now  in  use,  dedicated  in  February  1858,  in  the  pastor- 
ate of  Rev.  L.  Smith,  who  entered  the  pastorate  December  1st,  1857. 
Mr.  Smith  was  a  very  frail  man  when  he  came  to  Hightstown  and  did 
not  improve.  Disease  shortened  his  stay.  He  died  at  St.  Paul,  Minn., 
August  25th,   1864. 

Arrangements  were  made  in  January  1864,  for  a  private  school. 
The  room  over  the  lecture  room  was  granted  to  Rev.  L.  Smith,  the 
pastor,  for  a  schoolroom  free  of  charge  for  one  year,  and  Miss  Gurr 
was  employed  to  teach  the  pupils  "gathered  from  the  congregation." 
Thus  the  privacy  of  the  school  was  assured  by  Pastor  Smith  having 
control  of  the  room  and  of  the  school  and  by  the  pupils  of  the  Baptist 
congregation,  subsequently  the  Haas  brothers  adopted  the  school, 
which  they  gave  up  upon  the  location  and  organization  of  "Peddie 
Institute."  These  plans  were  in  anticipation  of  the  action  of  the 
New  Jersey  Baptist  State  Convention  to  found  a  Baptist  school  in  the 
State  within  a  few  years.  Hightstown  was  a  fitting  location.  A 
friend  of  the  movement  in  Hightstown  Rev.  Joshua  E.  Rue,  anticipating 
the  opportunity  of  Hightstown  to  secure  the  location  of  the  school 
travelled  in  the  State  in  behalf  of  HightstowTi.  Eventually  the  loca- 
tion was  made  at  Hightstown.  In  the  fall  of  1869,  the  main  building 
of  the  Institute  was  dedicated.  It  had  cost  one  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  dollars,  and  the  Board  was  seriously  in  debt.  Later,  through 
the  efforts  of  Rev.  William  V.  Wilson,  funds  were  collected  to  pay  the 
debt  and  cancel  all  claims  against  the  Board. 

Additional  property  has  been  bought  and  given  to  the  school, 
enlarging  its  campus  to  twen'y-six  acres.  A  Ijeautiful  library  building 
was  built  by  Jonathan  and  Mary  Longstreet,  named  the  "Longstrect 
Library."  A  dining  hall,  including  all  needed  kitchen,  culinary  and 
laundry  appliances  has  been  built.     The  dining  hall  is  large  and  favor- 


ably  compares  in  style  and  beauty  and  convenience  with  any,  anywhere. 
An  athletic  field  and  its  appointments,  a  telescope  and  observatory, 
laboratory  thoroughly  furnished,  also  the  scientific  department  with 
a  fine  collection  of  shells,  minerals  and  geological  specimens,  crowned 
with  an  endowment  of  one  hundred  and  seventy  thousand  dollars 
completes  an  equipment  of  the  school  that  is  a  foremost  one  in  the 

A  record  of  Hightstown  must  include  denominational  education 
affairs.  The  convention  which  met  in  Hightstown  in  1811  to  form 
the  New  Jersey  Association,  appointed  a  committee  to  report  plans 
for  a  school.  There  had  been  in  New  Jersey  a  knowledge  of  educational 
methods  in  the  colonies  and  there  was  a  higher  educational  tone  here 
than  elsewhere.  On  account  of  its  central  location  and  its  staunch 
Baptist  interests,  there  was  a  disposition  among  Baptists  to  locate 
there.  Acquaintance  with  the  minutia  of  education  in  the  colonies, 
showed  that  New  Jersey  was  a  preferred  place  and  an  immense  advance 
on  any  other  colony.  The  first  free  school  was  begun  here  in  1668. 
The  first  legacies  for  Baptist  schools  were  in  this  colony  and  the  first 
Baptist  schools  were  here  also. 

The  sources  of  its  population  explain  the  fervor  with  which  edu- 
cational movements  were  welcomed.  The  Holland  colonists  were 
required  as  a  condition  of  their  emigrating  to  America  to  take  im- 
mediate steps  to  found  a  church  and  a  school.  The  "P>iends"  (Quakers) 
invariably  by  mutual  agreement  built  school  houses  alongside  of  their 
meeting  houses.  Christian  denominations  entered  into  a  race  for  the 
earliest  effort  to  found  secondary  schools  and  colleges.  (See  History 
of  Education  in  New  Jersey,  issued  by  the  government  in  1899,  Wash- 
ington, D.  C.) 

On  June  19th,  1864,  Ruv.  Isaac  Butterfield  entered  the  pastoral 
office.  He  was  a  man  of  rare  worth  and  a  preacher  eminent  for  clear- 
ness, simplicity  and  powers,  unpretentious  in  scholarship,  but  "mighty 
in  the  Scriptures."  The  spacious  house  of  worship  was  packed  with 
an  immense  congregation  entranced  by  his  expositions  of  sin's  ruin, 
of  righteousness  and  of  "judgment  to  come."  His  stay  as  pastor 
was  only  two  years.  On  May  1st,  1867,  Rev.  Lyman  Chase  became 
pastor  and  resigned  in  two  years  to  take  a  professorship  in  Pcddie 
Institute.  While  a  man  of  intelligence  and  culture  he  was  not  an 
aggressive  pastor,  better  adapted  to  teach  than  to  develop  a  church 
into  efficiency.  After  Mr.  Chase  resigned,  "supplies"  ministered  to 
the  church  something  more  than  a  year. 

In  June,  Rev.  O.  P.  Eaches  accepted  a  call  to  be  pastor  and  is  now 
(1900)  holding  the  office.     When  Mr.  Eaches  settled  as  pastor,  the 


membership  was  three  Imndred  and  seventy.  In  1900,  it  was  live 
himdred  and  thirty-nine.  Each  of  these  thirty  years  there  have  been 
additions  by  baptism.  The  whole  number  of  Baptisms  since  June 
1870,  to  June  1900  has  been  seven  hundred  and  forty-three. 

Since  its  constitution,  the  church  has  been  financially  independent. 
From  September  1766,  to  October  1786,  ten  years,  had  there  been  a 
local  mission  society  to  aid  struggling  churches,  the  church  might 
have  asked  aid.  Pastors'  salaries  were  small  in  the  early  times,  oftener 
they  cared  for  themselves,  either  living  on  their  own  farms  or  on  a 
parsonage  farm.  Pastor  Wilson  had  a  salary  of  six  hundred  dollars 
and  since  then  pastors  of  Hightstown  have  had  a  definite  income.  The 
church  has  built  four  meeting  houses.  The  first  was  built  at  Cranbury 
in  1747.  A  "deed"  of  the  lot  on  which  it  stood  was  dated  April  15th, 
1746.  This  building  was  used  to  November  1785,  when  the  church 
removed  to  Hightstown.  Whether  the  second  house  was  ready  for 
use  in  1785,  is  not  certain!}'  kno^Ti.  That  at  Hightstown  was  in  use 
to  1834,  when  under  Mr.  Seger,  it  was  too  small  and  the  brick  edifice 
now  in  use  was  built  and  was  dedicated  in  1834,  about  two  years 
before  Mr.  Seger  resigned.  This  building  is  now  in  use  for  the  Sunday 
school  and  for  social  meetings.  The  fourth  building  was  dedicated 
in  February  1858,  in  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  L.  Smith.  To  Mr.  Barker 
and  the  church  building  committee  the  inception  of  this  very  creditable 
house  is  a  fitting  memorial  of  the  taste  and  ideas  of  the  people,  of  a 
church  edifice.  A  parsonage  farm  had  been  bought  in  1817  and  held 
for  the  pastor  till  1857.  In  1871,  a  parsonage  was  built  in  the  town. 
As  many  as  twenty  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach,  one  of 
whom  became  pastor.  Alexander  McGowan  was  much  like  Mr. 
Wilson.  A  Presbyterian  minister,  he  challenged  Mr.  Wilson  to  a 
public  debate  on  baptism.  While  studying  the  New  Testament  in 
preparation  for  the  discussion  he  became  a  Baptist  and  Mr.  W^ilson 
baptized  him.  Of  these  twelve  were  useful  pastors  in  New  Jersey. 
Others  were  active  ministers  abroad. 

Hightstown  is  centrally  located  in  the  state.  The  Baptist  church 
is  influential  both  at  home  and  abroad.  It  may  be  permitted  to  add 
some  items  of  interest  about  Peddie  Institute.  Hon.  D.  M.  Wilson 
was  the  first  President  of  its  Board  and  to  him  is  due  the  choice  of 
the  architectural  design  of  the  magnificent  building  even  though  it 
cost  forty-thousand  dollars  more  than  a  "factory  structure"  that  had 
been  partly  built.  At  his  death,  Hon.  Thomas  B.  Peddie  was  elected 
President.  It  is  said  that  he  had  given  fifty  thousand  dollars  while 
living,  to  Peddie.  His  will  endowed  it  with  an  equal  sum  and  Mrs. 
Peddie's  will  added  one  hundred  thousand  to  the  endowment.     Other 


large  givers  were,  the  Longstreets,  Jonathan  and  Mary  Jr.,  who  bnilt 
the  Longstreet  library  building  and  Miss  Mary  fully  equipjx'd  the 
physical  laboratory  at  a  cost  of  one  thousand  dollars,  and  annually 
sends  a  royal  donation  for  the  purchase  of  books  for  the  library.  The 
mother  was  a  Holmes,  a  near  lineal  descendant  of  Obadiah  Holmes, 
the  Massachusetts  Baptist  martyr.  Each  of  her  children  followed  her 
example.  A  daughter's  legacy,  Eleanor,  was  about  being  cast  into  the 
bottomless  pit  of  debt.  Her  piistor  prevailed,  however,  to  have  it 
used  as  the  seed  of  the  "Longstreet  Library,"  assuring  the  Board 
that  it  would  yield  ample  fruit;  and  it  has.  S.  Van  Wickle  of 
New  Brunswick,  Rev.  F.  R.  Morse  of  New  York  City,  Deats,  father 
and  son,  the  Wilsons,  D.  M.  and  William  V.,  Price  of  Burlington, 
New  Jersey  and  Rev.  Alfred  Free  of  Toms  River;  these  and  many 
more  have  had  a  large  part  in  the  equipment  of  Peddie  Institute. 
Through  its  friends  the  school  is  justly  entitled  to  a  first  place  among 
the  Academies  of  the  nation. 



A  Seventh  Day  Baptist  church  was  formed  at  Manasquan  in 
1745.  Whether  they  had  left  seed  of  the  Baptist  faith  in  the  com- 
munity which  laid  dormant  for  half  a  century  after  their  emigration 
to  the  West  is  not  known,  but  Baptist  ideas  of  Bible  teaching,  like 
the  wheat  grains  in  the  wrappings  of  Egyptian  mummies,  retain  a 
life  germ  for  centuries.  They  have  but  one  meaning  in  all  generations, 
even  though  far  apart  in  both  tune  and  distance.  An  instance  hap- 
pened at  Long  Branch,  New  Jersey.  Abel  Morgan  of  Middletown 
Baptist  church  had  a  station  at  Long  Branch  in  1738  and  after,  and 
had  many  converts.  An  hundred  years  later,  the  writer  had  a  station 
there  and  was  greeted  with  welcome  by  descendants  of  the  early 
Baptists,  still  cherishing  the  ideas  of  their  Baptist  ancestry. 

Manasquan  Baptist  church  began  with  and  from  a  woman.  Mrs. 
Elizabeth  Havens,  a  widow,  was  a  member  of  First  Hopewell  Baptist 
church  and  a  lone  Baptist  resident  of  the  town  in  1801.  Two  of  the 
children  were  religiously  impressed.  At  her  request,  one  of  them 
Samuel,  journeyed  a  long  distance  through  the  sand  and  the  Jersey 
"pines"  to  Hightstown  to  invite  Mr.  Wilson,  pastor  there,  to  come 
to  Manasquan  and  preach.  He  did  so  on  the  9th  of  December,  1801, 
and  preached  in  the  house  of  John  Havens,  another  son.  The  son, 
Samuel,  who  had  gone  to  Hightstown  was  the  first  one  baptized  in 
April,  1802.  From  this  time  Mr.  Wilson  visited  there  once  a  month 
until  there  were  thirty-seven  baptized  believers  there.  Soon  after 
Samuel's  baptism,  Mr.  Wilson  baptized  John  Havens  and  Anna,  his 
wife  and  the  wife  of  Samuel  Havens.  When  thirty-seven  had  been 
baptized,  they  decided  to  organize  a  Baptist  church  and  on  October 
20th,  1804,  did  so,  as  the  First  Baptist  church  of  Howell.  Upon  the 
division  of  the  township  the  name  was  changed  to  Manasquan.  Of 
the  constituents,  thirteen  were  named  Havens,  and  others  were  rel- 
atives, their  names  changed  in  marriage.  The  constituents  numbered 
twelve  men  an  twenty-five  women.  Mrs.  Havens  was  an  instance 
of  the  kind  of  Baptists,  who  made  us  denominationally  what  we  are. 
Some  of  a  modern  type  would  have  said,  "We  are  all  going  to  Heaven 
and  denominations  make  no  difference.  Why  send  off  fifty  miles  or 
more  for  a  Baptist  minister  when  there  are  good  ministers  and  churches 


nearby?"  The  pastors  were:  Rev.  William  Bishop,  1807-12;  John 
Cooper,  preaching  once  a  month,  1812-1823,  eleven  years;  John 
Bloomer,  1823-29;  Mr.  Clark,  one  year;  D.  P.  Perdun,  ordained  August 

Mr.  Perdun  was  an  illustration  of  how  really  grace  fits  a  plain, 
uncultured  man  of  very  limited  information  for  usefulbiess  and  in- 
fluence. He  was  of  large  and  massive  physique,  a  physical  stalwart.  To 
grammar  and  reading,  except  his  Bible,  he  was  a  stranger.  An  amusing 
instance  of  his  make  up  happened  at  a  woods'  meeting.  The  meeting 
had  not  resulted  as  anticipated.  At  a  conference  on  the  matter,  Mr. 
Perdun  exclaimed,  "I  am  going  to  visit  every  house  near  here."  Hear- 
ing that  two  elderly  ladies  lived  at  a  given  place,  he  began  there.  One 
of  them  opened  the  door  wide  enough  to  see  the  caller.  But  Mr. 
Perdun  pushed  in  and  on  inquiry  learned  that  she  was  not  a  Christian 
and  unmarried.  Whereupon  he  lifted  his  hands  and  exclaimed, "no 
Lord,  no  husband  and  no  God.  You  are  in  an  awful  condition!" 
Neither  of  these  ladies  was  converted  at  that  meeting,  nor  is  it  probable 
they  ever  forgot  Mr.  Perdun. 

After  the  resignation  of  Mr.  Perdun,  Mr.  Boozer  was  a  "supply." 
Rev.  C.  Cox,  Sr.,  was  pastor  from  June  1842-44.  A  special  work  of 
grace  was  enjoyed  under  the  labors  of  Mr.  Cox  at  Manasquan  and 
Kettle  Creek  churches  at  both  of  which  Mr.  Cox  preached.     Rev.  E. 

R.  Hera,  1846-48.     Also  Rev.  W.  F.  P.  did  pastoral  service 

after  Mr.  Hera.  In  the  spring  of  1851,  Mr.  W.  F.  Brown  became 
pastor  till  18.53.  Four  years  passed  in  which  the  vitality  of  the  church 
was  impaired  by  lack  of  pastoral  care.  The  frequent  changes  and 
pastorless  intervals  were  due  to  the  location  of  their  houses  of  wor- 
ship, one  being  an  accommodation  for  both  Manasquan  and  Burrsville, 
located  in  the  "Pines"  distant  from  anywhere,  which  was  occupied 
in  1843  and  later.  This  house  had  been  built  in  1808  and  served  neither 
place.  Had  the  house  been  located  in  Manasquan,  the  church  would 
have  grown  to  be  numerous  and  of  ample  means.  To  establish  outposts 
at  their  pleasure  was  unwise.  The  next  meeting  house  was  a  greater 
folly  and  without  other  excuse  than  covctousness,  the  probable  reason 
had  its  reward  in  the  almost  extinction  of  the  church.  Baptists  in 
numbers,  social  position  and  financial  resources  had  more  than  all 
other  denominations  combined  and  really  gave  enough  to  build  a 
"union"  house  to  have  built  one  for  themselves.  There  were  no  other 
churches  in  the  village  than  theirs.  When  the  writer  preached  in 
this  "union"  house  in  1843,  he  said  to  Baptists,  "You  have  made  a 
coffin  for  your  church  and  you  can  date  its  obituary  from  the  day  you 
committed  yourselves  to  this  movement,  providing  a  home  and  center 


for  other  denominations  and  affording  them  a  home  and  chance  to  be. 
it  is  good  to  be  generous,  but  not  at  the  cost  of  suicide."  Nor  were 
other  Christ ian^names^slow  in  improving  their  opportunity.  With 
lielp  from  abroad  they  organized  and  concentrated  in  the  town,  building 
attractive  cliurcli  edifices  where  the  people  were  and  grew  strong, 
while  Baptists  grew  weak;  leaving  Baptists  in  their  shabby  "union" 
house  on  the  hills  and  well  out  of  the  way.  This  saved  the  Baptists 
the  cost^of  sustaining  a  pastor,  giving  them  preaching  by  pastors 
of  other  denominations  and  it  was  sure  to  be  emasculated  of  Baptist 
facts  and  ideas.     They  were  thus  pastorless  for  many  years. 

In  1867-9  the  writer,  then  on  the  missionary  committee,  of  the 
Association  went  to  them,  pointed  out  the  coming  extinction  and 
prevailed  with  them  to  make  an  effort  for  life.  Deacon  Mark  Brown 
of  the  Baptist  church  bought  lots  in  Manasquan  on  which  the  church 
built  their  second  church  edifice  in  1871  or  2  and  it  was  dedicated  in 
1872.  The  plans  and  general  design  of  the  house  were  given  by  the 
chairman  of  the  missionary  committee  of  the  Association.  A  location 
in  the  village  put  the  church  on  a  parity  with  other  denominations 
and  the  decline  since  1808  was  stayed. 

Mr.  J.  D.  Merrill  was  called  to  be  pastor  in  December  1857  and 
was  ordained  on  January  19th,  1858.  During  his  pastorate  they  had 
as  large  a  measure  of  prosperity  as  the  conditions  allowed.  Its  iso- 
lation on  the  hills  and  the  attraction  of  more  fitting  and  suitable  places 
of  worship  in  the  village  hindered  the  prosperity  of  the  church.  Mr. 
Merrill  closed  his  labors  at  Manasquan  in  April  1864.  Rev.  E.  M. 
Lockwood  followed  on  May  1st,  1864  and  was  ordained  in  August 
1864.  He  was  pastor  of  both  Manasquan  and  Kettle  Creek  churches. 
He  died  on  August  13th,  1866.  Rev.  S.  L.  Cox  followed  within  a 
few  months  remaining  but  one  year,  because  of  the  uncongeniality 
of  the  climate.  He  was  succeeded  by  his  father.  Rev.  Charles  Cox, 
who  after  twenty-four  years  was  pastor  the  second  time.  Three 
years  Mr.  Cox,  Sr.,  remained,  closing  his  pastorate  in  1871.  Mr.  T.  S. 
Snow  was  the  next  pastor  and  was  ordained  in  September,  1871, 
remaining  until  1873.  Upon  Mr.  Snow's  resignation.  Rev.  E.  M. 
Barker  entered  on  his  charge  1873-76.  In  1876,  Rev.  D.  S.  Parmelee 
became  pastor  for  nine  years,  resigning  in  1885.  A  parsonage  was 
secured  while  Mr.  Parmelee  was  pastor. 

Rev.  Henry  Cross  settled  as  pastor  in  1886.  Pastor  Cross  enlarged 
the  church  work  by  making  a  station  at  Point  Pleasant,  about  six 
miles  south  of  Manasquan  river.  Mr.  Cress  closed  his  first  pastorate 
in  1892  and  in  the  same  year,  Rev.  F.  C.  Brown  became  pastor,  re- 
maining till  1896.     The  hearts  of  the  people  clung  to  an  old  pastor. 


Mr.  Cross  and  he  wtia  recalled  in  1896,  and  was  ministering  in  1900. 
Since  iiis  return  the  house  of  worship  has  been  enlarged,  really  made 
new  at  the  cost  of  the  original  building.  An  inspiration  to  a  higher 
life  is  infused  into  the  church,  more  than  in  any  former  period  of  its 

Excepting  the  labors  of  Mr.  Wilson  of  Hightstown,  the  church 
has  had  twenty  pastors.  Five  or  six  of  these  have  been  ordained  here. 
Three  have  had  duplicate  settlements.  There  have  been  four  hundred 
and  thirty-one  baptisms,  except'mg  those  baptized  by  Mr.  Wilson. 
Of  the  two  meeting  houses  and  the  renovation  of  the  last,  mention  has 
been  made.  Two  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach,  one  a  pastor's 
son.  Another  was  the  ever  memorable  A.  O.  S.  Havens,  who  travelled 
and  preached  on  the  coast  from  Manasquan  to  Mannahawkin  and 
through  the  "Pines"  at  his  own  cost,  sowing  seeds  of  the  Baptist 
faith  and  impregnating  the  people  with  our  convictions  of  truth. 
So  much  so,  that  it  was  a  Baptistic  section.  Three  churches  have  gone 
out  from  Manasquan,  Osborneville,  1835,  founded  by  Mr.  A.  O.  S. 
Havens;  Orient,  1848;  Point  Pleasant,  1888. 

In  August  1835,  Kettle  Creek  (Osbornville)  was  constituted  with 
seven  members.  Five  were  named  Havens,  of  one  family  and  near 
relatives.  One,  A.  O.  S.  Havens  was  a  licentiate  of  Manasquan  church. 
These  lived  at  Kettle  Creek  and  some  of  them  were  constituents  of 
Manasquan  church.  Mr.  A.  O.  S.  Havens  was  ordained  on  November 
1835,  and  was  the  first  pastor  remaining,  until  1842,  also  he  supplied 
the  church  from  1845-47.  This  was  his  only  pastorate;  he  was  a  very 
busy  minister  of  the  Gospel.  Kettle  Creek  was  the  only  church  be- 
tween Manasquan  and  Manahawkin  and  east  of  Jacobstown.  Mr. 
Havens  was  the  only  Baptist  minister  living  and  preaching  in  this 
wide  spiritual  waste.  Fifty  years  since  it  was  common  rumor,  that 
several  Methodist  churches  were  composed  exclusively  of  baptized 
believers;  the  entire  section  being  permeated  with  Baptist  ideas 
through  Mr.  Havens,  who  is  not  known  to  have  asked  or  received 
any  renumeration  for  his  labors.  His  useful  and  busy  life  ended  on 
October  16th,  1854  at  the  age  of  fifty-three  years.  A  school  teacher 
and  licentiate,  L.  H.  Terrill  helped  him  in  his  work,  enabling  him  to 
go  abroad  and  minister  in  distant  places. 

In  October  1849,  Rev.  John  Todd  became  pastor  and  served 
the  church  two  years.  He  was  a  self-sacrificing,  good  man.  The 
Board  of  the  State  Convention,  welcomed  opportunities  to  engage 
him  for  missionary  work.  A  meeting  house  was  built  soon  after  the 
church  was  organized  and  is  now  in  use.  Built  in  the  "Pines"  its 
location  prevented  any  growth.    About  1869,  Rev.  Mr.  Cook  ministered 


to  the  church.  Rev.  C.  P.  Decamp  followed  as  pastor  of  Kettle  Creek 
and  Orient  church  from  1874.  Rev.  G.  Johnson  also  supplied  the 
church.  In  conjunction  with  Orient  church,  Rev.  D.  Young  was 
pastor.  After  many  years,  of  which  the  Association  minutes  said, 
"No  report,"  in  1893,  Rev.  E.  B.  Walts  settled.  New  Ufe  at  once 
began.  He  baptized  converts,  doubled  the  membership.  The  name 
was  changed  to  Osbornville  and  the  house  of  worship  was  repaired, 
Mr.  Walts  resigned  in  1895  and  Rev.  G.  W.  Leonard  became  pastor 
ministering  to  Osbornville  and  Orient  churches.  He  closed  his  labors 
on  the  field  in  1898. 

East  of  the  Raritan  and  North  of  Manahawkan  and  Hightstown 
there  were  only  three  Baptist  churches.  From  1835  to  1865,  thirty 
years,  eleven  Baptist  churches  were  formed,  in  all  fourteen  Baptist 
churches.  The  same  territory  after  the  organization  of  the  Trenton 
Association  in  1865  to  1900,  a  period  of  thirty-five  years,  includes 
thirty-eight  of  our  churches,  an  increase  of  twenty-five  in  thirty-five 

Appearances  indicate  that  Osbornville  church  has  trials  awaiting 
it  in  the  future.  Places  north  and  south  of  it  are  centers  of  resort 
for  simimer  population.  Were  the  meeting  house  in  the  village  the 
outlook  would  be  more  hopeful.  Family  churches  however,  seldom 
get  hold  of  a  community,  unless  it  is  a  family  community.  The  sons 
of  Mr.  Havens  are  influential  men,  but  they  do  not  live  in  Osbornville. 
His  daughters  also,  are  women  of  position  and  influence.  Neither 
are  they  associated  with  Osbornville  church. 

Orient  and  Osbornville  are  much  alike  in  their  location,  isolated 
and  away  from  the  thoroughfares  of  travel.  The  building  of  the 
Manasquan  first  house  of  worship  toward  Burrsville  helped  Baptist 
influence  there.  Some  of  the  children  of  Rev.  A.  O.  S.  Havens  lived 
at  Burrsville  and  that  helped  Baptist  interests  there.  In  1858,  Rev. 
W.  F.  Brown  did  much  mission  work,  making  Burrsville  his  head- 
quarters, with  the  outcome  of  the  organization  of  Burrsville  Baptist 
church,  with  a  constituency  of  fifteen  members.  Mr.  W.  F.  Brown 
was  pastor  and  supply  for  more  than  twelve  years.  Chosen  to  political 
office  at  various  times  he  was  not  dependent  on  the  church  for  support. 
A  meeting  house  was  built  in  Burrsville  about  1859-60.  Rev.  J.  E. 
Howd  was  pastor  in  1872.  Messrs.  DeCamp  and  Young  were  joint 
pastors  of  Busrrville  and  Osbornville.  In  1879,  the  old  pastor.  Rev. 
W.  F.  Brown  had  a  second  pastorate  which  lasted  to  1885.  Both  of 
his  pastoral  charges  included  more  than  sixteen  years.  Rev.  E. 
Thompson,  pastor  at  Lakewood,  supplied  the  church  for  a  year  and 
more.     The  Point  Pleasant  pastor  also  supplied  the  church.     Rev. 


G.  W.  Leonard  was  for  several  years  pastor  at  Burrsville  and  Osborn- 
ville,  which  arrangement  terminated  in  1898.  Rev.  J.  W.  Hartpcnse 
settled    in    1899. 

Churches  located  as  are  Burrsville  and  Osbornville  need  to  be 
tenderly  cared  for.  They  live  a  life  of  exhaustion,  sending  abroad 
their  most  efficient  young  people.  Of  necessity  they  endure  long 
periods  of  destitution  and  need  a  large  faith  and  unyielding  devotion 
to  maintain  their  visibility  and  prove  themselves  the  peers  of  the 
active  and  self  denying  servants  of  God.  Such  disciples  do  not  have 
the  inspiration  of  association  nor  are  cheered  by  the  consecration  of 
times  and  means  in  fields  "white  for  the  harvest."  They  endure 
hardships  under  the  most  discouraging  conditions,  make  up  the  de- 
ficiencies of  those  who  go  away  and  hold  up  the  standard  of  the  cross 
in  the  night  and  ofttimes  in  loneliness.     Happily  God  knows! 

Point  Pleasant  is  one  of  the  many  churches  on  the  sea  shore, 
which  owe  their  existence  to  the  missionary  committee  of  the  Trenton 
Association  and  to  Pastor  Cross  of  the  Manasquan  church.  Members 
of  Manasquan  and  Orient  churches  had  been  long  residents  there. 
There  were  not  halls  or  suitable  places  of  worship.  Occasionally 
devotional  meetings  were  held  at  the  homes  of  members  of  the  churches 
and  the  pastors  were  among  their  people.  Pastors  and  the  Baptist 
churches  were  of  "one  accord"  and  in  hearty  sympathy  -n-ith  the 
missionary  committee,  giving  special  attention  to  the  place  in  1882, 
learning  then  that  lots  were  in  waiting  to  be  given  for  a  Baptist  placQ4 
of  worship.  Delays  came,  by  the  calls  from  other  places.  But  in 
1886,  the  increase  of  residents  put  a  special  phase  on  the  question  of 
early  movement  at  Point  Pleasant.  Pastor  Cross  had  made  an  appoint- 
ment for  service  in  1887  and  Deacon  William  Curtis  of  Manasquan 
church  had  given  valuable  lots  for  the  church  edifice  and  the  missionary 
committee  pushed  the  collections  of  funds  from  the  churches  for  the 
house  of  worship  at  Point  Pleasant.  The  concord  of  the  nearby 
church  and  of  the  pastor  and  of  the  resident  Baptists  hastened  the 
completion  of  the  house  of  worship  which  was  dedicated  in  November 
1888,  and  the  organization  of  the  church  with  fourteen  members. 

LTntil  1892,  the  church  was  supplied  by  Mr.  Howland  Hanson, 
a  licentiate  of  Asbury  Park  church  while  a  student  in  college.  After 
Mr.  Hanson,  Rev.  W.  L.  Mayo  became  pastor  in  July  1892.  He 
stayed  only  two  years.  While  pastor,  the  church  bought  adjoining 
lots,  removed  the  meeting  house  and  made  additions  for  more  efficient 
work.  Rev.  G.  W.  Drew  entered  the  pastorate,  and  resigned  his 
charge  in  1895,  when  Rev.  Mr.  Mauser  settled  as  pastor  closing  his 
pastorate  in  1898.       A  parsonage  was  built  in  1896.     Rev.  J.  A.  Clyde 


accepted  a  call  to  be  pastor  and  began  his  pastorate  in  1898  and  is 
now  ministering  to  the  church.  After  Mr.  Hanson,  four  pastors  have 
served  the  church.  Their  house  is  still  in  use.  There  is  an  ample 
field  and  good  hope  for  the  growth  of  a  strong  and  efficient  church. 

The  South  River  church  was  derived  from  Hightstown.  Its 
origin  is  not  given  in  the  church  minutes.  The  beginning  was  about 
that  of  Manasquan.  The  South  River  church  became  antinomian 
and  is  reduced  to  a  nominal  membership.  In  1871,  under  the  lead 
of  First  New  Bruns^\'ick  church,  Baptist  elements  local  and  from 
Herbertsville  united  in  constituting  The  Tabernacle  church  known  as 
Washington  and  South  River.  It  was  formed  of  thirteen  members 
on  November  12th,  1871.  Our  record  dates  from  the  New  Constitution, 
November  1871.  Rev.  M.  Johnston  was  the  first  pastor  who  closed 
his  work  in  1874.  Other  pastors  have  been  H.  D.  Dolittlo,  C.  H. 
Woolston,  F.  C.  Overbaugh,  W.  A.  Smith,  S.  D.  Samis,  E.  I.  Case. 
The  life  of  the  missionary  church  has  been  harrassed  by  the  primitive 
body  and  limited  to  less  growth  than  it  would  otherwise  have  had. 




The  earliest  traces  of  Baptist  ideas  in  Trenton,  is  said  by  Morgan 
Edwards  to  have  been  introduced  there  by  "Rev.  Jonathan  Davis,  a 
Seventh  day  Baptist,  who  with  his  brother,  Elnathan  settled  in  Trenton, 
near  the  beginning  of  the  century, "(eighteenth)  adding  that  he  had 
seen  a  printed  letter  directed  to  Mr.  George  Whitfield  from  Jonathan 
Davis  dated  May  1st,  1740.  Mr.  Davison  was  a  native  of  Wales,  but 
came  to  Trenton  from  Long  Island.  He  died  in  Trenton  in  1750  in 
his  seventy-fifth  year.  Mr.  Davis  married  a  lady  in  Trenton  whose 
maiden  name  was  Bowen.  I  find  the  name  of  Bowen  among  the 
constituents  of  the  First  Baptist  Church  of  Trenton.  Even  though 
many  years  had  gone  since  Mr.  Davis  had  died,  a  Bowen  of  the  First 
First    church    evidenced    that    the    seed    he    had    sown   bore   fruit. 

Rev.  Peter  Wilson,  pastor  at  Hightstown  preached  at  Trenton 
as  early  as  1787  at  the  house  of  Mrs.  Hannah  Keen.  "On  March  4th, 
1788,  he  baptized  five  persons  in  the  Delaware  river,  supposed  to  be 
the  first  case  of  believers  baptism  in  Trenton."  This  is  not  certain, 
since  Rev.  Mr.  Davis  may  have  baptized  therein  in  his  long  residence 
in  the  toMm.  The  First  Baptist  church  in  Trenton  was  constituted 
November  9th,  1805  with  a  membership  of  forty-eight.  It  was  formed 
as  "The  Trenton  and  Lamberton  church."  Lamberton,  Mill  Hill 
and  Bloomsbury  were  sviburbs  of  Trenton  and  have  been  long  since 
absorbed  in  the  city.  Descendants  of  some  of  the  constituents.  Cole- 
mans,  Howells,  Parkers,  Deys,  and  others  are  now  identified  with  the 
Baptist  churches  in  Trenton  and  in  its  vicinity.  Mr.  Wilson  con- 
tinued to  preach  at  Trenton  once  in  four  weeks  until  1809.  He  also 
had  other  appointments  at  Manasquan,  Hamilton  Square,  the  Manor, 
Pa.,  Penns  Neck  and  Lawrencevile,  additional  to  his  pastoral  duties 
at  Hightstown.  Few  men  could  be  more  busy  and  few  accomplished 
more  in  the  vast  undertakings  of  this  wonderful  man.  Col.  Peter 
Hunt  gave  to  the  church  for  a  house  of  worship,  the  land  on  which 
their  meeting  house  and  cemetery  are  and  building  their  church  edifice 
on  it,  dedicated  it  on  November  26th,  1803,  two  years  before  the 
church  was  constituted. 

Growth  made  necessary  additional  labors  to  Mr.  Wilson  and  on 
July  9th,  1808,  Mr.  Boswell  was  engaged  as  a  "supply"  once  in  four 
weeks.     At  the  same  meeting  at  which  Mr.   Boswell  was  engaged, 


Mr.  Coles,  a  licentiate  of  the  church  was  employed  as  a  "supply"  for 
another  Lord's  Day  of  the  month.  Three  Lord's  Days  of  the  month 
the  church  provided  for  itself  ministerial  service.  At  the  close 
of  Mr.  Wilson's  labors  in  July,  1809,  a  period  of  twenty-two  years,  Mr. 
Boswell  was  called  to  be  pastor  in  connection  with  second  Hopewell 
church  to  begin  the  next  September  and  a  few  weeks  later  was  ordained. 
His  salary  was  three  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  for  one  half  of  the  time. 
After  two  years,  Mr.  Boswell  was  called  for  three  Lord's  Days  in  each 
month.  Trouble  developed  in  1823,  fourteen  years  after  Mr.  Boswell's 
settlement,  1808;  he  had  imbibed  Swedenborgianism.  Hitherto, 
the  church  had  prospered.  The  pastor  was  an  able  preacher,  genial 
and  winning  in  social  life.  His  mistake  was,  instead  of  saying,  that 
his  \'iews  had  changed  and  quietly  resigning,  he  kept  his  place,  preached 
heresy,  stating  his  views  with  increasing  boldness,  until  unendurable 
by  the  evangelical  element  of  his  hearers  and  they  were  compelled  to  act. 
In  April,  1823,  a  church  meeting  decided  to  call  a  council  for 
advice.  Henry  Smalley  of  Cohansey,  John  Boggs  of  first  Hopewell, 
James  McLaughlin  of  second  Hopewell  and  Thomas  B.  Montanye  of 
Pennsylvania  were  summoned.  The  clerk,  was  instructed  to  invite 
Mr.  Boswell  to  meet  with  these  pastors,  but  he  declined  to  meet  them. 
The  council  reported  to  the  church:  "We  the  undersigned  having 
heard,  are  of  the  opinion  that  he  (Mr.  Boswell)  has  departed  from  the 
faith  of  the  particular  Baptist  churches,  and  demand  that  he  be  im- 
mediately notified  that  until  he  renounces  his  errors  he  cannot  have 
our  fellowship  as  a  regular  Gospel  minister."  Henry  Smalley,  John 
Boggs,  Thomas  B.  Montanye.  Mr.  McLaughlin  was  pastor  of  the 
church  of  which  Mr.  Boswell  had  been  pastor  and  was  known 
to  be  evangelical.  The  church  adopted  the  report  and  excluded 
Mr.  Boswell.  By  the  end  of  the  year  sixty-three  members  had 
been  excluded  for  their  sympathy  with  and  acceptance  of 
the  views  of  Mr.  Boswell.  The  course  pursued  by  the  church 
and  the  small  following  of  Mr.  Boswell  at  the  end  of  a  pastorate  of 
fifteen  years  instances  the  staunchness  of  these  Baptists  and  how 
independent  they  were  of  personal  ties  and  of  genial  associations  in 
their  belief  of  the  Divine  word.  Mr.  Boswell  and  his  friends  built 
a  meeting  house  near  the  First  Baptist  house  of  worship  and  the 
worshippers  there  were  commonly  called  the  second  Baptist  church. 
For  Mr.  Boswell  baptized  those  received  into  his  church  as  Baptists 
do  and  thus  his  church  was  known  b}'  the  sign  it  hung  out.  A  later 
pastor,  D.  H.  Miller,  for  special  reasons,  published  a  history  of  the  first 
Baptist  church  of  Trenton,  representing  Mr.  BosweU  as  badly  treated 
in  a  history  of  the  Central  church.    Mr.  Miller's  history  was  a  curious 


mixture  of  truth  and  misconception.  Within  a  few  months  Rev.  S.  W. 
Lynd,  pastor  at  Bordento-\vn  was  called  to  a  joint  charge  of  that  church 
and  of  first  Trenton.  The  arrangement  lasted  for  a  few  weeks  and 
terminated  satisfactorily  to  both  churches.  Rev.  George  Patterson, 
M.  D.,  followed  for  two  years  till  March,  1828.  "Supplies"  ministered 
for  two  years  more. 

A  call  was  given  in  March  1830,  to  Morgan  J.  Rhees  to  a  joint 
pastorate  with  Bordentown  which  continued  till  1834,  when  Mr. 
Rhees  settled  at  Trenton  exclusively.  His  was  the  first  pastorate 
since  Mr.  Boswell  in  which  the  church  had  the  undivided  labors  of 
a  pastor.  Within  three  years  the  congregation  outgrew  the  capacity 
of  the  house  of  worship  and  it  was  enlarged  and  modernized.  Necessity 
justifies  curious  doings.  In  1838,  an  invalid  was  received  by  letter 
"and  the  hand  of  fellowship  was  given  to  her  Father  in  her  behalf." 
After  eight  years  of  most  acceptable  service,  Mr.  Rhees  resigned,  and 
a  call  was  sent  to  Rev.  Samuel  Aaron,  to  which  he  replied:  "That  his 
anti-slavery  views  would  occasion  dissatisfaction  to  some  worthy 
brethren.  I  doubt  very  much  my  fitness  to  be  a  pastor  till  my  mind 
or  the  minds  of  my  brethren  shall  have  undergone  a  change."  This 
was  like  Samuel  Aaron,  a  man  of  great  courage,  unconcerned,  whether 
his  views  on  slavery  and  temperance  pleased  the  people  or  not.  He 
spoke  intensely,  educating  men  and  women  for  the  days  of  1861-65. 
After  hearing  this  letter  of  Mr.  Aaron,  so  frank  and  sensible  and  just, 
Mr.  Rhees  was  immediately  and  unanimously  recalled  and  as  promptly 
accepted  the  proffered  pastorate.  Finally  he  resigned  in  1840,  closing 
pastoral  labors  of  ten  years. 

]Mr.  Rhees  did  an  especial  work.  The  defection  of  Mr.  Boswell 
had  both  impaired  the  strength  of  the  church  and  had  brought  con- 
fusion and  hindrance  to  the  Baptist  cause  and  to  Baptists  in  the  city. 
Especially  as  he  had  located  himself  as  a  Baptist  on  his  old  field,  Mr. 
Boswell  did  his  utmost  in  opposition  to  his  former  charge  with  whom 
he  had  the  largest  influence  to  win  them  to  his  false  views.  Mr.  Rhees 
was  such  a  preacher  and  pastor  that  the  church  had  constant  growth 
in  a  continuous  accession  of  spiritual,  social  and  material  strength. 
Mr.  Boswell  died  in  1833,  and  the  house  of  their  worship  was  sold  about 
1837,  to  evangelical  Christians  and  nothing  remains  of  the  ism  that 
built  it.  Pastor  Rhees  was  a  grand  man.  The  ten  years  of  his  life 
in  Trenton  were  also  ten  years  of  service  as  the  secretary  of  the  new 
and  unshapen  state  Convention  for  local  missions.  Its  first  secretary 
his  plans  of  administration  governed  its  operations  for  sixty  years. 
To  him,  that  body  owes  more  for  its  efficiency  than  to  any  other,  not 
excepting  Rev.  G.  S.  Webb  and  Judge  P.  P.  Runyan,  both  of  the 


first  Baptist  church  of  New  Brunswick.  The  temperance  cause  had 
one  of  its  best  advocates  in  Mr.  Rhees.  Anything  for  the  better- 
ment of  humanity  had  him  for  a  champion. 

The  Trenton  Baptist  church  was  a  jealously  watching  church 
against  ministerial  assumptions  or  claims  of  pastors'  rights.  The 
moderatorship  was  denied  him  in  their  business  meetings.  Nor  was 
there  a  ready  assent  to  his  presence  at  business  meetings.  Once, 
present  at  a  business  meeting,  he  expressed  his  views  on  the  matter 
under  consideration.  At  once  one  of  these  good  men,  offended  and 
indignant  at  the  pjistor's  objections,  possibly  to  his  own  plans  and 
ideas,  moved  that  Mr.  Rhees  be  excluded  from  the  church.  The 
motion  was  hastily  carried.  Happily,  reflection  came  before  adjourn- 
ment; the  vote  was  reconsidered  and  the  original  motion  lost,  and 
notice  of  the  shameful  action  was  refused  a  place  in  the  minutes  of 
the  meeting.  Mr.  Rhees  was  a  man  who  did  his  own  thinking  along 
Bible  lines.  He  was  tall  enough  to  see  over  the  walls  of  liis  fold  and 
long  armed  enough  to  touch  far  off  fields. 

Mr.  L.  F.  Beecher,  having  been  chosen  was  ordained  for  the 
pastoral  office  in  October  1841 .  Resigning  the  next  Septemper,  his  short 
stay  was  a  continuous  blessing.  In  January,  1843,  Rev.  John  Young 
was  invited  to  "supply"  the  church  until  April.  But  in  February, 
after  a  statement  of  the  circumstances  of  his  situation,  and  an  inter- 
change of  \'iews  on  the  subject,  he  was  called  to  be  pastor  and  it  was 
immediately  accepted,  his  charge  to  begin  on  February  15th.  Mr. 
Young  presented  "a  letter  from  Deacons  of  a  Baptist  church  in  London 
and  divers  others  letters  in  testimony  of  his  standing  character  as  a 
member  of  the  Baptist  church  and  on  these  letters  was  received  into 
full  membership."  This  was  a  strange  and  unwise  proceeding  on  the 
part  of  the  Trenton  church.  A  body  most  insistent  on  following 
the  usages  of  Baptist  churches,  the  subsequent  events  showed  the 
mistake  and  folly  of  the  course  taken.  These  letters  may  have  been 
forgeries.  At  a  special  meeting  of  the  church  in  July  following,  Mr. 
Young  resigned,  to  take  effect  August  15th,  he  having  been  elected  to 
a  professorship  in  a  Campbellite  College  in  Virginia.  Mr.  Young  was 
a  cause  of  dispute  and  of  confusion  to  Baptist  interests  in  Trenton. 
Mr.  Young  preached  a  sermon  in  early  August  in  which  he  advocated 
the  union  of  all  denominations  and  more  or  less  exposed  his  Campbellite 
tendencies.  If  not  of  that  sect  when  he  came  to  America,  his  con- 
version to  their  views  was  a  short  process.  Seemingly  he  was  honest, 
which  explains  his  large  following.  As  many  as  one  hundred  and 
twenty-four  asked  for  letters  of  dismission  from  the  first  church  to 
organize  a  second  Baptist  church  in  upper  Trenton.     All  of  these 


however,  were  not  personal  followers  of  Mr.  Young  nor  had  iinl)ibcd 
his    views. 

The  New  Jersey  Baptist  Convention  had  for  along  time  been 
trying  to  induce  the  first  church  to  colonize  a  Baptist  church  in  North 
Trenton  and  many  Baptists  in  the  city  sympathized  with  this  prop- 
osition and  these  united  in  this  movement  of  a  Baptist  church  in  North 
Trenton.  It  is  not  known  that  pledges  had  been  exchanged  between 
Mr.  Young  and  some  of  the  dismissed  members  to  form  a  second  Baptist 
church  that  might  eventually  be  a  Campbellite  church.  It  is  known 
that  having  gone  to  Virginia  and  declined  the  professorship  (!)  he 
returned  to  Trenton  and  became  pastor  of  second  Trenton  church. 
Whereupon,  that  body  broke  into  three  parts.  Thirty-seven  mem- 
bers returned  to  the  first  church.  Another  party  constituted  them- 
selves the  Trinity  church,  worshipping  in  Temperance  Hall.  The 
third  party  built  a  meeting  house  on  the  corner  of  Hanover  and  Mont- 
gomery streets,  (now  the  Central  church  edifice)  and  had  Mr.  Young 
as  pastor.  Mr.  Young  had  been  repudiated  by  the  first  church  and 
was  a  bar  to  a  recognition  by  the  first  church  of  that  which  Mr.  Young 
was  pastor.  In  the  history  of  the  "Central  church"  the  facts  per- 
taining to  the  extinction  of  Mr.  Young's  church  (known  as  the  second 
Baptist  church)  the  disposition  of  its  property  and  its  possession  by 
the  "Central  Church"  and  the  absorption  of  the  "Trinity"  church 
in  the  "Central"  is  fitly  given.  An  explanation  of  why  Mr.  Young 
was  recognized  as  a  Baptist  minister  and  his  church  as  a  Baptist  church 
has  not  been  written,  nor  can  be.  In  part  it  is  a  fact,  that  Baptists 
in  the  entire  state  were  concerned  to  have  a  Baptist  church  in  North 
Trenton.  The  first  church  located  in  South  Trenton  while  a  large 
and  influential  body,  did  not  influence  the  entire  city,  with  Baptist 
influences  and  its  scattered  membership  in  Upper  Trenton,  lacking 
the  cohesion  of  a  church  failed  to  represent  our  ideas  of  church  order 
and  the  conditions  of  memljcrship  in  a  church  as  was  felt  to  be  desirable. 
The  writer  recalls  how  seriously  this  subject  was  discussed  hi  the  Board 
meetings  and  the  intense  feeling  that  Baptists  did  not  have  the  repre- 
sentation in  the  State  capitol,  they  felt  themselves  entitled  to.  This, 
impelled  the  recognition  of  both  the  church  and  of  Mr.  Young. 

The  mother  church  after  having  suffered  the  calamities  endured 
in  connection  with  the  Young  affair,  chose  for  pastor,  a  man  known 
to  all  to  be  right  and  true  to  Baptist  interests.  Rev.  L.  G.  Beck. 
Him  they  called  and  he  entered  the  pastoral  office  in  March  1844. 
Mr.  Beck  was  a  wise  pilot  for  the  stormy  times  into  which  he  was 
summoned.  His  position  was  far  from  desirable.  Nevertheless, 
he  retained  it  for  nearly  six  years  and  richly  deserved  the  quiet  and 


peaceful  pastorate  on  which  he  entered.  One  of  the  most  amiable 
and  loveable  men  followed  Mr.  Beck  in  January  1850,  Rev.  H.  K. 
Green.  Mr.  Green  was  a  polished  preacher  and  a  man  of  the  highest 
scholarship  in  his  generation.  He  declined  re-election  at  the  end  of 
1852.  For  a  year  or  more,  that  choice  man,  Duncan  Dunbar  min- 
istered  until   in    1854. 

Within  a  short  time,  Rev.  Lewis  Smith  settled  in  1855.  Three 
years  later  Mr.  Smith  accepted  a  call  elsewhere.  Many  converts 
were  added  to  the  church  under  his  ministry  and  the  church  adopted 
a  resolution:  "That  signing  a  tavern  license  should  not  be  tolerated 
in  a  Christian  church.  The  use  and  sale  of  intoxicating  drinks  were 
also  included."  A  second  offense  subjected  the  offender  to  exclusion. 
Material  advances  were  also  made  in  the  erection  of  a  building  in  1857 
for  Sunday  school  and  social  meetings. 

In  October  1858,  Rev.  O.  T.  Walker  entered  the  pastorate.  The 
growth  of  the  membership,  the  increase  of  the  population  in  South 
Trenton,  the  popularity  of  the  pastor,  his  indefatigable  labors  brought 
a  crisis  to  the  church.  The  old  meeting  house,  which  had  been  en- 
larged and  modernized  several  times,  was  utterly  inadequate  to  ac- 
commodate the  multitude  that  thronged  it.  A  new  edifice  was  built 
larger  than  any  Protestant  house  of  worship  in  the  cit}^  modest, 
plain  and  attractive  on  account  of  its  fitness  for  its  uses.  Still  the 
spacious  room  was  too  small.  Hundreds  were  often  unable  to  get 
standing  room  in  it.  Pastor  Walker  closed  his  ministry  September 
1st,  1863.  Since  then,  large  congregations  have  met.  Succeeding 
pastors  have  baptized  hundreds  into  the  church  and  yet  the  same 
walls  include  the  average  congregation. 

Rev.  D.  H.  Miller  entered  the  pastorate  December  1st  1863. 
He  retained  the  congregations  Mr.  Walker  had  gathered  and  bap- 
tized more  than  anv  former  pastor.  Two  reasons  explain  this.  One, 
Mr.  Walker  had  won  many  into  the  House  of  God,  as  yet  unconverted 
and  Mr.  Miller  harvested  them.  Another,  the  Central  church  had 
gotten  Elder  Jacob  Knapp  to  hold  a  series  of  meetings  in  February 
1867  and  one  hundred  more  were  baptized  into  the  first  church  within 
a  year.     Mr.  Miller  closed  his  work  in  Trenton  in  October  1867. 

An  interim  of  six  months  occurred  until  Rev.  G.  W.  Lasher  settled 
as  pastor  in  April  1868.  Mr.  Lasher  soon  won  a  large  place  for  him- 
self in  the  confidence  of  the  church  and  congregation  and  in  that  of 
the  Baptists  in  the  city  and  in  the  esteem  of  the  entire  Christian  com- 
munity. The  internal  affairs  of  the  church  were  reorganized  and 
conformed  to  practical  efficiency.  In  1871,  he  wrote  a  sketch  of  the 
first  church  and  said:     "Lots  were  bought  on  Perry  street."     The 


first  church  never  bought  or  owned  lots  on  Perry  street,  nor  opened 
a  mission  thereabout.  Instead  of  Perry  street,  Mr.  Miller  bought 
cheap  lots  on  a  side  and  out  of  the  way  street  in  the  midst  of  a  mission 
which  the  Central  church  had  opened  a  year  before,  when  the  central 
church  had  secured  lots  on  Perry  street.  Mr.  Lasher  adds:  "At 
the  request  of  the  Central  church,  they  were  sold  to  it  at  the  price  paid 
for  them  and  the  mission  transferred  to  them."  Mr.  Miller  happening 
in  the  study  of  the  Central  pastor  told  of  the  buying  of  the  lots  in  a 
mission  of  the  Central  church.  At  this  time  all  South  Trenton  with 
its  tens  of  thousands  of  population  was  open,  nothing  being  done 
for  Baptist  interests.  To  the  Central  people  it  was  strange  to  locate 
a  mission  in  their  field  where  they  had  sustained  a  mission  for  more 
than  a  year  and  the  nearby  destitution  neglected.  The  Central  church 
did  not  request  the  sale  of  the  lots  to  them.  Instead,  Mr.  Miller  asked 
of  the  Central  pastor  if  his  church  would  buy  their  lots,  the  price 
being  fifty  dollars  more  than  the  first  church  had  originally  paid  for 
it.  To  explain  the  added  cost  of  the  lots,  something  was  said  about 
"interest."  Mr.  D.  P.  Forst  was  President  of  the  Central  Board  of 
Trustees  and  when  the  purchase  of  the  lot  of  the  first  church  was  stated 
to  him,  he  said:  "Say  to  Mr.  Miller,  send  to  me  the  deed  of  the  lot  and 
I  will  return  to  him  my  check  for  its  price."  The  lot  on  Perry  street 
costing  nearly  double  that  of  the  first  church  had  a  chapel  for  the 
Central  Church,  built  on  it  within  six  months-  of  this  settlement. 
The  mission  was  not  transferred  to  the  Central  Church.  The  First 
Church  never  had  a  mission  in  that  locality.  Clinton  Avenue  Church 
is  the  development  of  the  Pearl  Street  Mission. 

Mr.  Lasher  saw  the  needs  of  his  own  field  and  was  the  first  pastor 
of  the  first  church  to  take  measures  to  meet  them.  Lots  were  bought 
about  1868  or  9  and  a  chapel  was  built  in  a  densely  populated  neigh- 
borhood and  was  dedicated  on  May  23rd,  1869.  The  mission  has  grown 
into  a  church,  Calvary  Baptist  church.  Another  mission  was  originated 
by  the  gift  of  lots  on  which  to  build  a  chapel  for  what  is  now  the  fifth 
Baptist  church  in  Trenton.  The  chapel  was  erected  in  the  pastorate 
of  Mr.  Lasher  and  a  church  constituted  in  1891.  While  thus  pushing 
matters  in  South  Trenton,  the  pastor  succeeding  in  reducing  the  debt 
which  encumbered  the  church,  showing  himself  not  only  an  efficient 
pastor,  but  awake  to  supply  his  field  with  Gospel  agencies.  More 
than  his  predecessors  he  has  effectively  furnished  South  Trenton  with 
churches  maintaining  the  Gospel  of  the  Son  of  God.  After  its  accom- 
plishments this  pastorate  came  to  an  end  quite  too  soon.  In  it  also, 
was  the  earliest  attainment  of  unanimity  in  city  missions.  The 
prejudices  growing  out  of  the  "Young"  episode  gave  way  to  concord 


in  the  common  interests  of  our  churches.  Had  Mr.  Miller  been  dis- 
posed to  united  enterprises,  there  would  have  been,  both  a  German 
and  an  Afro  American  church  established  long  since.  But  the  old 
entanglements  were  very  unyielding.  The  Central  hurch  was  ready  to 
pledge  several  thousand  dollars  annually  for  years,  for  these  objects. 

Rev.  Elijah  Lucas  became  pastor  in  1873,  remaining  twenty  and 
more  years,  closing  his  labors  in  1894.  In  1886,  he  resigned.  But 
the  church  declined  to  accept  it,  by  so  nearly  a  unanimous  vote  that 
he  consented  to  remain.  Only  pastors  Wilson,  Boswell,  Rhees,  Beck 
had  stayed  more  than  three  or  four  years.  A  little  coterie  of  mem- 
bers craving  some  new  thing  buzzed  about  the  pastor  and  made  him 
uneasy.  These  practiced  on  Mr.  Lucas,  found  out  that  if  either  must 
go  they  could  be  spared.  Withal  he  was  an  able  preacher,  original, 
pithy  and  clear.  His  activities  kept  him  in  touch  with  his  hearers, 
the  lowly  as  much  as  the  officials.  He  was  not  perfect.  Prov.  22:3 
was  his  portrait.  The  politicians  on  sale,  rum  sellers  and  saloon 
keepers  cursed  him.  As  chaplain  in  the  legislature,  his  prayers  were  a 
terror  to  some  of  them,  showing  that  he  knew  what  they  knew  could 
unmask  them.  No  pastor  in  Trenton  had  more  bitter  enemies.  They 
assailed  him  on  a  clergyman's  most  vulnerable  side,  his  moral  char- 
acter. They  failed  but  so  impaired  the  confidence  in  him  as  to  drive 
him  away.  Had  Mr.  Lucas  intrenched  himself  in  the  sympathies  of 
his  ministerial  brethren  of  the  Christian  denomintitions  in  Trenton 
and  been  a  co-worker  with  those  of  his  own  denomination  in  their 
common  fields,  he  would  have  had  a  religious  constituency  to  keep 
him  in  Trenton,  "a  terror  to  evil  doers." 

Rev.  M.  P.  Fikes  began  his  pastoral  work  in  1894.  The  interior 
of  the  church  edifice  was  remodeled  and  the  building  for  the  Sunday 
schools  and  social  meetings  was  connected  with  the  main  building. 
Mr.  Fikes  resigned  in  April,  1900. 

The  first  church,  Trenton,  is  located  "do^\Tl  to^\ii,"  amid  the 
workmen  of  the  factories  of  South  Trenton.  Under  Mr.  Walker,  a 
proposition  to  remove  to  "Mill  HiU"  was  seriously  agitated,  but  the 
condition  of  the  gift  of  the  ground,  where  the  house  stood  and  the 
cemetery  about  it,  its  reversion  to  the  heirs  of  Col.  Hunt,  if  diverted 
from  the  uses  for  which  it  was  given  possibly  influenced  the  choice  of 
the  old  location. 

Of  their  house  of  worship,  it  is  the  second  they  have  had  up  to 
1900.  even  though  the  old  house  had  been  enlarged  and  often  repaired. 
The  church  has  had  fifteen  pastors.  Mr.  Wilson  antedated  the  consti- 
tution of  the  church.  In  all  he  preached  in  Trenton  twenty-  one  years, 
Mr.  Boswell  fourteen  years;  Mr.  Rhees,  ten  years;  Mr.  Lucas  more  than 


twenty  years;  seven  have  been  licensed  to  preach.  Twenty-one 
hundred  have  been  baptized  into  it.  Of  these,  nearly  seven  hundred 
and  fifty  were  baptized  by  Mr.  Lucas.  The  annual  average  of  baptisms 
since  1805  has  been  twenty-two.  In  1875,  Rev.  Daniel  Freas  removed 
to  Trenton.  He  was  born  in  Salem,  New  Jersey,  and  had  a  considerable 
competence  from  his  father.  Mention  is  made  of  him  in  the  history 
of  Woodbury  church,  where  he  invested  so  much  as  was  needful  to 
adapt  the  house  for  worship.  The  writer  recalls  a  meeting  of  the 
Board  of  the  State  Convention,  when  Mr.  Freas  asked  its  indorsement  of 
his  visiting  Baptist  churches  in  New  Jersey  to  collect  funds  to  repay 
him.  The  Board  cheerfully  gave  its  endorsement.  The  daily  papers 
of  Trenton  said  of  his  death:  "The  day  of  the  burial  of  Mr.  Freas 
was  in  Trenton  a  day  of  universal  grief."  In  a  letter  to  the  writer, 
this  extract  appears.  "Mr.  Freas  was  altogether  independent.  He 
received  no  salary.  Certain  persons  of  all  religious  and  of  irreligious 
faiths  cared  for  him.  All  doors  were  open  to  him  in  Trenton.  He 
spent   twenty   years   in   Trenton   as   a   volunteer   missionary." 

Those  clippings  are  from  the  city  newspapers: 

"City  Missionary  Daniel  J.  Freas,  who  was  killed  yesterday  by  a 
trolley  car,  will  be  very  much  missed  in  Trenton.  He  was  a  kindly 
and  benevolent  man,  a  bom  missionary,  always  ready  to  assist  the 
unfortunate  and  to  excuse  the  wayward  and  the  erring.  He  gathered 
from  the  prosperous  to  distribute  to  the  poor  and  wretched,  and  if 
by  chance  an  undeserving  one  was  the  sharer  of  his  bounty,  he  always 
had  a  mild  and  ready  excuse.  No  rain  was  too  heavy  and  no  blizzard 
too  severe  to  keep  him  from  going  his  rounds  to  hunt  up  the  sick  and 
the  suffering.  He  would  say  to  people  of  wealth:  "Do  you  wish  to 
share  with  me  in  the  cares  and  happiness  of  the  coming  year?  If  you 
do,  give  me  as  the  Lord  has  blessed  you.  I  will  use  your  money  the 
best  I  can,  and  you  shall  share  in  my  prayers."  There  were  people 
who  would  contribute  to  Mr.  Freas  and  to  no  one  else." 

To  one  unfamiliar  with  Baptist  history  in  Trenton  the  late  date 
of  the  origin  of  the  Central  Trenton  church  will  be  strange.  The 
Central  is  the  third  Baptist  founded  in  LTpper  Trenton.  In  1842, 
the  first  church  called  Rev.  John  Young,  lately  come  from  England, 
to  be  their  pastor.  Six  months  afterwards  he  resigned,  having  ac- 
cepted a  professorship  in  the  Campbellite  College  at  Bethany,  West  Va. 
Mr.  Young  claimed  to  be  a  Baptist  when  called  to  the  first  Church. 
Mr.  Young  in  1843  preached  a  sermon  in  which  he  insisted  on  the 
union  of  all  Christian  churches.  A  public  meeting  was  called  in  the 
City  Hall;  after  his  sermon,  to  remonstrate  against  the  action  of  the 
First  church,  rejecting  Mr.  Young.     William  Boswell,  an  old  pastor 


of  the  First  church,  but  excluded  from  it  was  chairman  and  F.  S.  Mill 
secretary;  one  a  Swedenborgian  and  the  other  a  Methodist. 

At  his  resignation  one  hundred  and  twenty-four  members  of  that 
church  received  letters  to  organize  a  second  Baptist  church  in  Upper 
Trenton  and  that  body  was  recognized  as  a  Baptist  church  and  it 
gave  Mr.  Young  a  call  to  be  pastor,  whereupon  the  second  church 
broke  into  three  parts,  one  of  which  returned  to  the  first  church.  A 
second  organized;the  Trinity  Baptist  church  and  worshipped  in  "Tem- 
perance Hall."  The  third  party  built  a  meeting  house  on  the  site  of 
the  present  Central  church,  of  which  part  Mr.  Young  was  pastor. 

Whether  an  arrangement  had  been  made  by  some  dismissed  from 
the  first  church  to  call  him  to  be  pastor  of  the  second  church  is  unknown 
At  a  council  called  in  the  case  of  Mr.  Young,  on  his  statement  that  he 
was  a  Baptist,  he  was  recognized  as  such,  pastor  of  the  second  Baptist 
church.  It  was  a  universal  desire  of  the  denominatino  in  New  Jersey 
to  have  a  Baptist  church  in  Upper  Trenton  and  this  explains  in  part 
the  readiness  of  good  and  wise  men  to  accept  Mr.  Young  as  a  Baptist. 
Dates  of  the  various  movements  in  these  confusions  are  lost,  the  sequence 
of  them,  however,  is  clear.  The  denomination  did  not  accept  Mr. 
Young  as  a  Baptist,  in  fact  he  was  believed  to  be  a  Campbellite  in 
disguise.  He  was  pastor  of  the  second  Baptist  church  in  1844.  When 
he  came  back  to  Trenton,  how  long  he  stayed  and  when  he  left,  or  what 
became  of  him  and  of  his  denominational  relations  is  not  known. 

The  Central  Baptist  church  owes  its  existence  to  the  New  Jerse}' 
Baptist  State  convention.  The  property  of  the  second  church  was  to 
be  sold  for  debt  and  the  Board  of  the  Convention  appointed  Judge 
P.  P.  Runyan  of  New  Brunswick,  D.  M.  Wilson  and  J.  M.  Davies  of 
Newark  to  buy  and  hold  it  for  Baptist  uses.  They  paid  off  a  floating 
debt  of  thousands  of  dollars  and  made  needed  repairs  until  the  organ- 
ization of  the  Central  church. 

In  October  1853,  the  Board  appointed  Rev.  J.  T.  Wilcox  to  be  a 
missionary  in  North  Tretnon.  He  come  as  a  spiritual  chemLst  and 
mingled  the  Heavenly  alkali  of  love,  patience  and  faith  with  the  dis- 
cordant elements  unite  them  in  a  Baptist  church.  To  his  wisdom  and 
prudence  is  largely  due  the  success  which  crowned  his  work.  Helpers 
were  few  and  comforters  like  to  Job's  were  many.  On  the  30th  of  April 
1854,  twenty-nine  Baptists  constituted  the  Central  Baptist  church 
of  Trenton.  In  May,  they  were  recognized  as  such.  Fifteen  of  these 
were  from  the  Trinity  Baptist  church  which  had  disbanded  in  antici- 
pation of  the  forming  of  the  Central  church.  Two  were  from  the  first 
church  and  twelve  Baptist  residents  in  Upper  Trenton.  Mr.  Wilcox 
found   chaos.     He   left   a   happy    church   of   ninety-three   membera 


Wearied  with  anxious  care  and  exhaustion  of  more  than  four  years 
of  toil,  his  health  failed  and  he  resigned  ui  the  midst  of  a  revival, 
closing  his  pastorate  March  21st,  1858. 

Rev.  Lyman  Wright  the  choice  of  both  pastor  and  people,  had 
already  accepted  a  call  to  be  pastor  and  began  his  charge  in  the  next 
May.  Instead  of  coming  with  pruning  knife  and  plow,  he  came  sickle 
in  hand  to  a  ripening  harvest.  Inquirers  and  converts  thronged  the 
gates  of  Zion.  Six  converts  he  "buried  in  baptism"  on  the  first  Sunday 
of  his  pastoral  charge.  He  was  pastor  eighteen  months  and  the 
house  of  worship  was  made  attractive.  Previously  two  Baptists  had 
moved  to  Trenton,  living  nearer  the  first  church  than  to  the  Central, 
D.  P.  Forst  and  wife,  and  J.  E.  Darrah  and  wife.  In  reply  to  efforts 
to  unite  at  the  first  church,  they  said:  "Your  church  is  already 
crowded  and  we  are  not  needed.  But  the  Central  is  small  and  weak 
and  needs  us  financially,  socially  and  otherwise  and  so  they  united 
where  they  could  be  of  the  most  use."  Prospered  in  business,  they 
accumulated  wealth  and  when  later,  thousands  of  dollars  were  needed 
for  enlargement  and  mission  work,  it  was  freely  given.  On  the  next 
Lord's  Day  to  that  in  which  Mr.  Wright  retired.  Rev.  G.  R.  Darrow 
settled  November  1st,  1859.  In  about  two  years,  Mr.  Darrow  accepted 
a  chaplaincy  in  the  army  of  the  Civil  War.  Mr.  Darrow  left  the  mark  of 
a  man  of  God  in  whom  were  combined  the  cultured  gentleman  and  the 
Christian  patriot  minister. 

Rev.  T.  R.  Howlet  began  his  pastorate  August  1st,  1861.  The 
distraction  caused  by  the  Civil  War,  the  large  drafts  upon  the  men  and 
on  the  wealth  of  the  nation,  engrossed  the  energies  of  the  people  and 
the  churches  endured  exhaustion  rather  than  increase  and  in  December, 
1863,  there  was  another  vacancy  in  the  pastorate.  The  church  was 
divided  and  serious  alienations  prevailed  at  this  time.  An  interim 
between  pastoral  oversight  was  improved  by  enlarging  the  meeting 
house  and  an  entire  reconstruction,  making  it  a  new  building.  The 
cost  was  about  eight  thousand  dollars.  The  entire  outlay  was  can- 
celled when  the  new  house  of  worship  was   dedicated   in  March  1864. 

On  December  1st,  1863,  Rev.  T.  S.  Griffiths  became  pastor  and 
closed  his  charge  April  1st,  1870.,  till  now,  the  longest  pastorate  the 
church  has  had.  The  long  vacation  in  the  pastoral  office,  the  re- 
building of  the  meeting  house  and  the  suspension  of  social  meetings  and 
the  Lord's  Day  service  had  its  usual  effect.  Congregations  were 
scattered  and  the  membership  reduced.  The  alienations  of  the  former 
days  had  also  grown,  but  the  wisdom  and  piety  of  the  membership 
averted  disaster.  Former  distractions  paused  by  the  "Young"  episode 
hindered    concert   between   the   churches.     Both    churches   however, 


were  on  the  outlook  for  expansion  and  l^y  mission  Sunday  schools 
were  entering  the  fields  of  usefulness. 

The  Central  church  had  three  mission  Sunday  schools.  Tha^ 
on  Perry  street  had  special  promise  of  early  return.  Already,  converts 
were  gathered  and  added  by  baptism  into  the  church.  At  a  call  by 
Mr.  Miller  of  the  first  church  on  the  pastor  of  the  Central  church,  he 
revealed  that  his  church  had  bought  lots  on  a  by  street,  far  away  from 
the  residences  of  any  of  their  members.  This  was  a  surprise  since  the 
Central  church  had  been  sustaining  a  mission  in  that  part  of  the  city 
since  18G5.  Years  elapsed  but  the  first  church  made  no  move.  Deacon 
Forst  of  the  Central  church  often  said  to  his  pastor,  "I  will  build  a 
chapel."  We  had  engaged  lots  on  a  prominent  street  at  a  larger  cost 
than  the  first  church,  but  on  account  of  the  old  alienation  between  the 
churches  the  whole  movement  was  suspended.  In  time,  Mr.  Miller 
came  to  see  the  pastor  of  the  Central  church  and  asked  if  he  woud  buy 
their  lots.  The  pastor  said  "No,  not  on  a  by  street."  Eventually 
we  bought  their  lots  at  a  price  of  fifty  dollars  more  than  they  had  paid 
for  them  and  then  selling  them.  The  Central  church  built  a  chapel  on 
their  own  choice  lots.  These  things  delayed  the  building  of  the  chapel, 
till  1867.  The  property  was  given  to  the  Clinton  Avenue  church  and 
they  ocupied  the  place  till  they  changed  their  location  to  Clinton 
Avenue.  That  eminent  evangelist,  "Elder  Jacob  Knapp"  came  by 
invitation  of  the  Central  church  and  begun  special  meetings  in  Feb- 
ruary, 1867,  continuing  them  six  weeks.  As  a  result,  all  the  city 
churches  enjoyed  a  spiritual  refreshing.  One  hundred  and  thirty 
six  were  baptized  in  the  Central  church;  more  than  one  hundred  into 
the  first  Baptist  church  and  it  is  believed  that  as  many  as  five  hun- 
dred were  added  to  the  several  churches  that  year. 

Another  mission  was  begun  in  East  Trenton  by  the  Central  church 
in  1868.  The  meetings  were  held  in  a  small  room  over  the  oven  in 
a  pottery  and  the  pastor's  feet  were  unduly  heated  by  the  hot  bricks 
while  preaching.  Under  the  next  pastor  of  the  Central  church  a  chapel 
building  was  erected  for  the  use  of  this  mission  which  is  now  "The 
Olivet  Church."  The  disasters  which  befell  the  Central  church  from 
1870  to  78  seriously  affected  this  mission,  but  Mr.  William  Ellis  kept 
it  alive  and  Deacon  D.  P.  Forst  advanced  the  funds  to  build  the  chapel 
which  his  untimely  death  made  it  necessary  to  repay.  When  Mr. 
Howlett,  pastor  of  the  Central  church  advised  the  church  to  give  up 
this  mission,  the  Clinton  Avenue  church  cared  for  it  and  later  the 
Trenton  City  Mission  Society.  A  parsonage  was  bought  adjoining  the 
church,  by  Deacon  D.  P.  Forst  in  1865.  It  was  lost  when  given  to  Mr. 
Howlett  in  settlemant  for  arrearages  of  salary  due  him  about  1875-6. 


Upon  the  removal  of  Pastor  Griffiths  ui  April  1870,  Rev.  C.  Keyser 
settled  as  pastor  the  next  October.  After  the  meetings  of  Mr.  Knapp 
in  a  sketch  of  the  Central  church,  it  was  stated  "that  only  thirty-eight 
remained  of  the  one  hundred  and  thirty-six  baptized  and  of  them  fifty- 
two  had  been  excluded,  or  over  one-third,  and  at  least  twenty  have 
ceased  to  show  any  interest  in  the  church."  Even  though  the  state- 
ment be  true,  it  is  not  just,  except  all  the  facts  are  given.  The  pastor 
who  succeeded  to  the  care  of  a  church  of  more  than  four  hundred 
members,  two  hundred  and  fifty  of  whom  were  actively  engaged, 
each  week  as  teachers  in  five  Sunday  schools  and  which  sustained 
twenty-one  prayer  meetings  each  week,  and  two  additional  preaching 
services  alternately,  both  now  efficient  churches;  this  pastor  a  good 
man  and  an  able  preacher,  announced  to  these  disciples  from  the 
pulpit:  "that  the  main  business  of  a  church  was  to  take  care  of 
itself,"  alienated  from  himself  the  spiritual  element  and  chilled  the 
activities  of  the  church.  Very  soon  the  thirteen  mission  districts  were 
suspended  and  the  twenty-one  prayer  meetings  dwindled  to  one  at  which 
the  attendance  was  reduced  to  about  twenty  per  cent  of  the  two  or 
three  hundred  that  had  formerly  met.  More,  a  colony  of  most  efficient 
members  went  out  to  form  the  Clinton  Avenue  church,  because  they 
were  shut  up  at  home,  and  with  the  purpose  to  renew  the  old  time 
activity.  Not  only  this,  but  diversion  and  dissention  brought 
disatisf action  and  a  large  majority  of  the  young  members  of  the  church 
were  disgusted  with  the  type  of  religion  they  saw  in  the  church  busi- 
ness meetings  and  wandered  off,  explaining  why  so  many  of  the  bap- 
tized were  lost  from  the  membership.  It  was  wholly  due  to  the  change 
from  life  to  decay. 

The  mission  work  of  the  church  promised  abundant  fruit.  In 
his  introductory  sermon  in  December,  1863,  Pastor  Griffiths 
had  said:  "I  do  not  come  here  to  build  up  this  church 
out  of  other  congregations,  but  to  gather  from  the  'highways  and 
hedges,'  the  non-church-going  people."  To  this  the  membership 
responded  and  when  the  plans  were  changed  for  "sitting  still,"  it  is 
not  surprising  that  there  was  a  balk  in  all  mission  work.  If 
any  credit  is  given  for  the  rapid  growth  of  the  church  it 
is  to  be  recognized  as  having  passed  from  a  "side  track"  to  the 
"main  line"  to  an  active  place  in  Christian  activities  because  of  the 
piety  and  devotion  of  its  membership,  each  aiming  to  be  "in  his  own 
place  round  about  the  camp  and  answering  to  the  call  of  the  Divine 
Master,  "Here  Lord,  am  I,  send  me."  The  necessity  of  building  a 
larger  house  of  worship  and  the  prospective  increase  of  labors  im- 


pelled  the  pastor  to  believe  that  another  unwearied  with  care  could 
better  develope  new  lines  of  enlargement. 

A  large  German  population  had  come  into  the  city  and  demanded 
attention  to  reach  it  with  Baptist  views  of  truth.  Members  of  the 
Central  church  had  pledged  twelve  hundred  dollars  annually  for  the 
coming  five  years  for  mission  work  among  them.  But  at  a  meeting  on 
this  behalf,  the  pastor,  Mr.  Miller,  of  the  first  church,  was  not  ready 
for  the  movement,  although  his  members  present  at  the  meeting  were 
and  the  enterprise  came  to  an  untimely  end.  The  Afro  American 
people  were  also  increasing  and  these  needed  provision  for  their  care. 
Members  of  the  Central  church  were  sensitive  to  these  conditions  and 
with  all,  had  the  financial  resources  to  meet  them.  In  anticipation 
of  these  added  calls,  the  pastor  decided  to  retire,  in  hope  of  a  more 
efficient  successor  and  resigned  to  take  effect  in  April  1870.  This 
was  a  mistake  m  him,  inasmuch  as  a  stranger  could  not  know  the 
needs  of  the  field.  Had  he  remained  these  objects  would  have  been 

On  the  next  October,  Rev.  C.  Keyser  entered  the  pastorate. 
Mr.  Keyser  accomplished  two  important  objects  ;  the  church  edifice 
was  vastly  improved  and  a  chapel  was  built  for  the  Oilvet  mission, 
through  Deacon  D.  P.  Forst  advancing  its  cost.  But  unhappily,  the 
improvements  on  the  church  edifice  remained  a  debt,  which  in  the 
reduced  financial  ability  of  the  church,  on  account  of  alienations  and 
removals  imperilled  the  entire  property.  Pastor  Keyser  was  valued 
by  his  people,  but  misapprehended  them  and  lost  his  opportunity  to 
do  them  the  good  in  his  power,  by  a  staid  conventionalism  and  lack  of 
tact.     He  closed  his  pastorate  in  March  loth,  1875. 

On  the  next  October,  T.  R.  Howlett  was  called  to  a  second  pas- 
torate by  a  majority  vote  against  the  spiritual,  financial  and  social 
element  of  the  church.  An  anticipated  result  happened.  There 
was  a  virtual  break  up.  His  first  pastorate  had  not  been  happy 
Old  alienations  revived,  members  who  had  sustained  the  church  took 
letters,  or  withdrew  and  suffered  expulsion.  He  remained  till  October 
1878,  three  years.  Arrearages  on  his  salary  were  paid  by  sale  of  the 
parsonage.  After  his  resignation  while  yet  pastorless,  the  Holy 
Spirit  visited  the  church,  as  of  old. 

Rev.  L.  B.  Hartman  was  sent  for.  Being  proved,  he  became 
pastor  near  the  end  of  February  1879.  Mr.  Hartman  was  evidently 
the  man  divinely  chosen  to  recover  the  church  from  impending  wreck. 
Congregations  grew  and  the  pastor  happily  gathered  again  an  efficient 
church.  Lacking  the  financial  and  social  element  included  in  its 
membership  from  1866  to  1870,  but  yet  an  efficient  body.     Pastor 


Hartman  iserved  the  church  twelve  years  closing  his  labors  in  1891. 
His  charge  may  be  judged  by  its  fruits,  revivals  were  frequent;  some 
who  had  left  the  church  in  its  days  of  trouble  returned;  debts  were 
paid;  empty  pews  were  filled;  the  pastor's  salary  was  increased  and 
the  status  of  the  church  in  the  community  was  restored. 

Rev.  J.  T.  Craig  was  called  to  the  pastoral  office  in  September, 
1891.  In  1895,  illness  compelled  his  resignation.  The  church  was 
very  kind  to  him  both  in  his  long  illness  and  in  giving  to  him  a  pension 
for  many  months  after  his  resignation.  Tokens  of  good  were  enjoyed 
under  Mr.  Craig.  The  unity  of  the  church  was  preserved,  debts  were 
paid,  congregations  were  retained  and  converts  were  baptized. 

Follovring  Mr.  Craig,  Rev.  A.  W.  Wishart  entered  the  pastorate 
in  July  1895,  and  is  now  (1900)  pastor.  Mr.  Wishart  makes  a  specialty 
of  social  Christianity — Christianity  in  the  home,  business  and  in  the 
municipality.  There  has  been  more  or  less  revival  interest  under 
his  ministry.  Men,  especially,  are  attracted  in  the  evenings.  Mr. 
Wishart  has  made  himself  a  power  in  Trenton,  both  with  the  officials 
of  the  city  and  in  the  community.  The  church  is  heartily  united  in 
him  and  is  increasing  its  hold  on  a  large  class  of  non-church-going  men. 
There  have  been  many  good  men  members  of  the  church.  Deacon 
D.  P.  Forst  and  his  brother-in-law,  J.  E.  Darrah,  Deacons  Cheeseman, 
McKee  and  Thomas  C.  Hill.  Clinton  Avenue  church  is  indebted 
especially  to  T.  C.  Hill.  Fuller  allusion  will  be  made  to  him  in  the 
history  of  Clinton  Avenue  church. 

The  origin  of  Clinton  Avenue  Church  is  stated  in  the  history  of 
Central  Trenton  Church.  A  mission  was  begun  on  Perry  street  in  1865, 
by  the  Central  Church.  Deacon  T.  C.  Hill  had  it  in  special  charge. 
It  developed  into  the  Clinton  Avenue  Baptist  Church  in  1873,  having 
thirty-fi^'e  members,  nearly  all  of  them  dismissed  from  the  Central 
church.  At  its  beginning,  the  meetings  were  held  in  private  houses 
and  were  accompanied  with  unusual  spiritual  interest.  Numbers 
were  converted  and  baptized  into  the  Central  church.  Among  the 
converts  were  saloon  keepers,  whose  places  were  immediately  clcsed. 
When  in  1867,  the  chapel  was  built  on  Perry  street,  a  Sunday  school 
was  possible  and  regular  afternoon  services  were  begim  by  pastor 
Griffiths  of  the  Central  Church.  The  Sunday  school  and  week  evening 
meetings  were  made  up  of  the  most  crude  and  untutored  elements. 
Then  various  factories  and  potteries  were  located  in  that  section  and 
many  of  its  residents  were  of  foreign  birth.  The  boys  who  thronged 
the  meetings  evidently  enjoyed  this  land  of  liberty  and  they  had  "great 
fun."  Coatless  and  shoeless,  with  rents  in  their  nether  clothing, 
during  prayer  meeting  pla3'ing  leap  frog  in  the  aisle,  turning  somer- 


saults  over  the  benches,  whistling,  crowing,  mewing,  as  the  temper 
took  them.  Often  the  pastor  could  not  hear  his  own  voice  in  prayer. 
Said  a  member  of  the  church  to  him  at  the  close  of  such  a  meeting, 
"This  is  dreadful.  You  must  get  a  policeman  to  keep  order."  To 
her,  he  replied:  "This  chapel  was  not  built  for  such  as  you,  but  for 
these  boys  and  of  those  of  their  kind,  wait  and  see."  Within  a  year 
there  were  no  more  orderly  meeting  and  Sunday  school.  Blessed 
reward  they  had  who  endured.  It  was  one  of  those  cases  in  which 
Christianity  proved  its  mastery  of  ignorance  and  of  the  rudest  home 

In  the  Central  Church,  the  pressure  of  restrained  working  forces 
for  an  outlet,  excited  a  purpose  for  a  change.  In  1871,  a  city  Baptist 
Mission  Society  was  formed  which  employed  Rev.  James  Thorn  to  act 
as  their  missionary.  The  Sundaj'  services  at  the  chapel  on  Perry 
street  were  renewed.  The  attendance  and  interest  increased;  some 
were  converted  and  baptized,  and  when,  in  the  spring  of  1873,  a  com- 
mittee was  appointed  by  the  Central  Church  to  examine  the  field,  they 
reported  favorably  concerning  the  organization  of  a  church,  but  it 
was  not  until  May  28th,  1873,  that  the  final  organization  was  effected 
Thirty-five  persons  presented  their  letters  and  were  organized  as  the 
Clinton  Avenue  Baptist  Church.  A  lot  having  been  bought  on  that 
avenue  for  the  erection  of  a  church  edifice,  a  house  was  eventually 
built  at  enormous  cost,  far  beyond  the  ability  of  the  church  to  pay  for. 
The  welfare  of  the  church  was  sacrificed  for  many  years  by  the  great 
debt  with  which  it  was  burdened.  The  building  would  certainly  have 
been  sold  by  the  sheriff,  but  for  the  thousands  of  dollars,  which  the  con- 
vention board  and  the  State  at  large  raised  to  pay  for  the  folly  of  its 
erection.  In  the  second  effort  to  cancel  its  debts,  the  Board  of  the 
Convention  mortgaged  another  church  property,  which  it  had  pledged 
its  honor  to  be  forever  kept  for  Baptist  uses,  and  to  pay  off  that  mort- 
gage has  offered  that  property  for  sale.  How  just  and  true  the  old 
saying:  "That  corporations  have  no  souls."  This  religious  corpor- 
ation verifies  thus  its  inability  to  be  honest  and  just  in  a  matter  of 
dollars  and  cents.  The  Central  Church  gave  to  the  Clinton  Avenue 
Church  the  chapel  and  property  on  Perry  street,  which  was  later  sold, 
the  funds  from  its  sale  appropriated  to  cancel  subsequent  debts. 

Mr.  C.  B.  Perkins  was  ordained,  became  pastor  in  October,  1873. 
The  church  worshipped  in  the  chapel  on  Perry  street  two  and  more 
years.     Mr.  Perkins  closed  his  pastoral  charge  in  February  1878. 

Rev.  N.  W.  Miner  settled  as  pastor  in  September,  1878.  His 
chief  work  was  to  collect  funds  to  save  the  church  edifice.  Although 
engaged  in  these  financial  matters,  the  spiritual  ties  were  not  over- 


looked  and  many  converts  were  baptized.  But  the  load  was  burden- 
some and  Mr.  Miner  resigned  in  March,  1881.  Two  years  of  di.scourage- 
ment  passed  and  division  grew  out  of  these  financial  straits.  A  large 
number  drew  off  and  started  an  opposition  church  nearby.  It  dis- 
banded however,  in  a  short  time.  Amid  these  troubles,  the  mothei 
church  had  incumbered  itself  with  debt  for  repairs  and  improvements 
and,  distracted  with  divisions,  appealed  in  behalf  of  Baptist  interests, 
in  the  Capital  city  of  New  Jersey  to  the  Board  of  the  State  Convention. 
In  February,  1883,  the  Board  agreed  to  assume  the  mortgage  on  the 
property  and  appropriated  five  hundred  dollars  the  sum  of  the  annual 
interest  toward  the  pastor's  support,  collecting  also,  many  thousands 
of  dollars  for  the  debt  and  by  its  annual  appropriation  saved  the 
church  property.  It  is  only  just  to  Deacon  T.  C.  Hill,  on  whom  re- 
sponsibility wholly  lay  for  the  erection  of  such  a  house,  he  paid  thousands 
of  dollars  for  the  debts  of  the  church,  mortgaged  his  property  for  other 
thousands  to  pay  claims  against  the  church.  It  is  also  due  to  say, 
that  had  tlie  Central  Church  retained  the  financial  strength  it  had  when 
Mr.  Hill  began  his  enterprise,  different  conditions  would  have  pre- 
vailed, but  the  calamities  of  the  Central  Church  involved  its  own 
existence.  Had  Deacon  Hill  accepted  advice  and  l)uilt  a  ten  or  fifteen 
thousand  dollar  house,  the  Baptist  cause  would  have  been  advanced 
instead  of  being  retarded. 

Rev.  O.  T.  Walker  once  pastor  of  the  First  Church,  entered  the 
pastoral  office  in  1883,  but  he  failed  to  draw  his  friends  to  a  sinking 
craft,  he  gave  up  hope. 

In  February  1885,  Rev.  Judson  Conklin  settled  as  pastor  in 
September,  1885.  A  remaining  mortgage  of  ten  thousand  dollars  was 
paid  about  this  time.  Deacon  D.  P.  Forst  having  removed  to  New  York 
City  on  account  of  the  unwisdom  of  the  majority  of  the  Central  Church, 
left  a  legacy  of  two  thousand  dollars  to  Clinton  Avenue  Church  under 
given  conditions.  The  church  property  which  the  Board  pledged  itself 
to  keep  intact  was  mortgaged  for  the  balance  of  the  debbt  of  Clinton 
Avenue  Church.  Thus  there  have  been  no  entanglements  of  debt  in 
Mr.  Conklin's  pastorate,  that  cut  short  those  of  his  predecessors.  Mr. 
Conklin  is  now  pastor  (1900).  Clinton  Avenue  Church  since  relieved 
of  debt,  has  had  a  uniform  growth  both  by  baptisms  and  b}'  letters 
from  the  First  and  Central  Churches,  each  of  which,  until  within  the 
last  few  years  have  had  internal  agitations  and  some  of  the  strongest 
and  best  of  their  members  have  had  a  home  in  Clinton  Avenue.  These 
mature  members  constitute  the  church  a  center  of  power. 

No  other  church  in  the  State  has  had  so  much  done  for  it  by  its 
sister    churches.      Lately,      it  has      expended      nuieteen      thousand 


dollars  on  improvements  of  its  sanctuary.  Had  some  of  this  money 
cancelled  mortgages  on  conventon  property,  which  the  Board  pledged 
its  honor  to  keep  forever,  for  Baptist  uses  (which  property  is  now  oflfered 
for  sale,  said  mortgages  being  security  for  money  borrowed  to  pay  off 
the  debts  of  Clinton  Avenue  Church)  there  would  be  more  confidence 
in  the  convention  as  a  guardian  of  trust  funds.  The  future  ^vill  show 
the  appreciation  of  pastor  and  people  of  their  opportunity.  Mr.  Hill  was 
a  deacon  of  the  Central  Church,  was  identified  with  Perry  street  mission 
from  the  first.  He  was  a  constituent  of  Clinton  Avenue  and  was 
intensely  active  in  all  lines  of  Christian  work.  His  -wife  as  much  so  as 
himself.  If,  in  her  judgement,  he  lacked  in  giving  or  in  doing,  Mrs. 
Hill  was  an  inspiration  to  make  it  up.  Both  of  them  were  modest  and 
lowly.  He  made  his  pastor  his  confidant  in  business  and  in  his  re- 
ligious forecasts;  the  single  exception  was  in  the  kind  and  cost  of  the 
Clinton  Avenue  Church  edifice,  yet  received  his  protests  with  utmost 
kindness.  His  pastor  knew  that  he  was  first  and  always  a  Godly  man. 
Business  with  him  had  its  primal  motive  in  what  it  enabled  him  to  do 
for  his  Divine  Master.  Of  the  social  meetings  and  the  Sunday  school 
in  Perry  street,  he  was  the  main  stay.  But  one  other  member  of  the 
Central  Church,  Deacon  D.  P.  Forst  commanded  a  larger  foUo-nnng. 
His  purpose  to  build  so  large  and  costly  a  house  of  worship  for  Clinton 
Avenue  Church  illustrated  his  idea  that  nothing  was  too  good  for  God. 
He  had  not,  however,  taken  into  account  his  own  private  resources, 
nor  a  coming  financial  crisis. 

A  lesson  of  this  history  of  the  intent  of  a  good  man  is:  that  while 
desire  and  faith  justify  ventures  that  involve  the  honor  of  God's 
kingdom  and  the  integrity  of  his  servants,  we  need  to  be  sure  of  His 
indorsement  of  both  the  means  and  of  the  end,  exercising  common 
sense  as  to  the  probability  of  commanding  both  the  means  and  the 
end.  God  is  to  be  trusted;  not,  however,  in  the  anticipation  that  he 
will  do  what  we  think  he  ought  to  do.  He  is  Himself,  the  best  judge 
of  what  he  ought  to  do.  Clinton  Avenue  Church  has  had  four  pastors, 
and  two  houses  of  worship.  The  chapel  on  Perry  street  serving  its 
use  the  first  two  years  of  its  life. 

Baptist  churches  have  various  origin;  a  mission  Sunday  school, 
a  chapel,  an  outgrowth  of  the  mind  of  Christ  in  a  few  loving  souls, 
cheered  in  their  purpose  by  a  missionary  pastor  of  a  nearby,  possibly 
of  a  mother  church,  or  through  men  and  women  who  see  in  the  wastes 
about  them  an  invitation  to  possess  the  land.  There  is  a  great  differ- 
ence in  pastors.  One  limits  himself  to  the  church  he  serves.  Quietude 
is  to  him,  a  condition  of  spiritual  health;  expansion  is  a  waste.  To  an- 
other the  noise  and  excitement  of  the  battlefield  are  essential.  Limitation 


stifles  him.  The  sphere  of  these  men  in  the  Kingdom  of  God  is  as 
different  as  their  temperament.  Fields  also  are  as  unlike  as  the  ax, 
the  plow.  There  is  use  for  both  in  the  varied  condition  of  humanity. 
The  Wiseman  may  have  had  this  in  mind  when  he  said:  "The  fining 
pot  for  silver,  and  the  furnace  for  gold."  Prov.  27;21. 

The  pastor  of  Central  Trenton  church  began  a  mission  in  East 
Trenton  about  1868.  The  suburb  was  new,  the  people  widely  scattered. 
Neither  halls  nor  school  houses  suited  for  worship.  However,  there 
was  a  small  room  in  a  pottery  above  the  oven,  the  top  of  which  was  its 
floor.  Permission  was  given  to  hold  meetings  in  it  on  Lord's  Day 
afternoons.  The  place  was  very  warm  and  small  and  the  floor  hot 
from  the  fire  under  it.  At  the  first  meeting,  about  twcntj'  persons  were 
present.  It  was  a  long  and  weary  walk  in  the  heat  of  summer  from  the 
parsonage  to  the  place  of  meeting.  A  Sunday  school  could  not  be  held, 
for  while  the  church  would  supply  needed  books  and  other  essentials, 
there  was  not  a  safe  place  for  them.  A  change  of  place  was  necessary. 
Mr.  Philips  had  a  brick  yard  near  by  and  he  gave  the  use  of  his  office 
for  a  Sunday  school,  where  it  met  till  a  chapel  was  built.  Under 
Pastor  Keyser,  who  succeeded  Mr.  Griffiths  in  the  fall  of  1870,  a  chapel 
was  built.  Deacon  D.  P.  Forst  furnishing  the  means  and  Mr.  Keyser 
maintained  a  Lord's  Day  afternoon  service  there,  while  pastor  and 
having  resigned  in  March,  1875,  v/as  followed  by  Rev.  T.  R.  Howlett 
a  former  pastor.  He  ad\-ised  the  church  to  give  up  the  Olivet  Mission, 
and  the  property  came  into  the  possession  of  Deacon  Forst  and  of  J.  E. 
Darrah,  they  assuming  the  indebtedness  of  the  building  due  to  Mr. 
Forst,  he  having  advanced  the  funds  for  its  erection.  Eventually, 
the  property  belonged  to  the  estate  of  Mr.  Forst.  In  the  meantime, 
a  son  of  Deacon  William  McKee,  of  the  Central  Church  and  a  son  of  a 
former  pastor,  who  had  begun  the  mission  sustained  the  Sunday  school 
when  disasters  befell  the  Central  church  from  1873  to  1879. 

The  Clinton  Avenue  Church  was  foster  mother  of  the  mission, 
carmg  for  it,  for  four  years,  especially  under  the  superintendence  of 
Mr.  William  Ellis,  whose  devotion  to  the  mission  was  tireless.  Un- 
happily, a  proviso  in  the  deed  of  the  lot  returned  it  to  the  giver  of  the 
lot  at  the  suspension  of  the  mission.  Whereupon,  Deacon  Forst 
bought  the  property  and  it  became  a  part  of  his  estate.  Later  arrange- 
ments were  made  by  which  it  came  to  the  Olivet  Church.  The  Baptist 
City  Mission  Board,  into  whose  charge  the  mission  had  come,  in  June 

1895,  appointed  Mr.  W.  A.  Pugsly,  a  Missionary  on  the  field,  and  in  April 

1896,  the  Olivet  Church  was  organized  with  thirty-four  constituents. 
Twenty-six  were  from  Clinton  Avenue  Church,  that  church  being 
closely  associated  with  the  field.     Rev.  J.  L.  Coote  became  pastor  in 


August  1896,  remaining  till  1900,  when  he  resigned  to  enter  another 
charge.  While  pastor,  the  house  of  worship  has  been  extensively 
improved  and  enlarged  and  the  church  has  fully  occupied  its  field. 
Despite  the  uncertainties  and  changes  experienced  by  the  mission  since 
1868  to  the  organization  of  a  church  in  1896,  twenty-eight  years,  one 
man,  William  B.  Ellis  has  stood  by  the  mission,  kept  the  Sunday 
school  alive,  secured  occasional  preaching  and  through  him,  the  Olivet 
church  has  become  a  possibility. 

Mr.  Ellis  had  been  an  unbeliever  in  Christianity,  having  large 
influence  with  young  men  and  imbuing  them  with  his  enmities  to 
Christianity.  Mrs.  Judge  J.  Buchanan,  member  of  Central  church, 
sent  a  note  to  Mr.  Ellis  inviting  him  to  visit  her  in  her  sick  room.  He 
did  so  and  induced  him  to  go  to  the  church  with  her  husband.  The 
pastor  found  them  both  on  their  knees  in  prayer.  Mr.  Ellis  was 
converted  and  was  baptized  in  February  1867,  and  from  that  time, 
had  a  new  purpose  in  living,  to  save  men  and  was  most  active  in  mis- 
sions and  in  personal  work.  Living  near  Olivet  mission,  he  established 
a  prayer  meeting  in  his  house.  There  had  not  been  a  religious  meeting 
before  in  that  neighborhood.  At  the  first  meeting  the  window  glass 
were  all  broken  with  stones  and  his  house  battered  and  defaced.  But 
the  meeting  went  on.  Factories  employing  children  of  foreign  born 
people,  instanced  the  need  of  Christian  influence  there.  Mr.  Ellis 
lived  to  see  a  great  change  about  his  home  and  the  vicinity  is  as  orderly 
as  any  other.  Although  Olivet  Church  sprang  from  the  Central 
Church  and  its, chapel  was  built  by  its  members,  it  is,  though  cast  off 
by  the  pastor  of  that  body,  really  a  fruitage  of  Clinton  Avenue  Church 
and  of  the  City  Mission  Society.  One  house  and  one  pastor  has  served 
the  church. 

Rev.  G.  W.  Lasher  was  the  first  pastor  of  the  First  Baptist  church 
of  Trenton  to  occup}'  Sovith  Trenton  with  local  missions.  The 
church  itself  was  ready  to  respond  to  the  labors  of  its  pastors  to  plant 
missions  at  home.  But  the  pastors  appear  to  have  been  content  with 
their  home  work,  excepting  M.  J.  Rhees  who  preached  in  North 
Trenton,  near  by  where  the  Central  Trenton  Church  is  located.  At 
his  removal  the  appointment  ceased.  Mr.  Young,  under  the  pretence 
of  a  Second  Baptist  Church  in  Upper  Trenton,  colonized  there.  But 
its  unhappy  beginning  and  wretched  end,  was  a  discredit  to  the  Baptist 
cause  in  the  city.  To  Pastor  Lasher  belongs  the  credit  of  seeing  an 
opportunity  and  of  having  a  "mind  to  work"  and  developing  the 
forces  of  the  First  church  to  accomplish  great  things  for  God  and  men. 
His  choice  of  the  field  for  another  church  in  South  Trenton  Avas  a  sound 


judgment,  within  the  care,  sympathy,  financial  aid,  which  the  mission 
might  need  from  the  mother  church. 

Not  only  the  location  at  the  corner  of  Clinton  and  Rocbling  Ave- 
enues,  but  the  provision  of  the  large  grounds,  the  size  and  type  of  the 
chapel  built,  evinced  a  comprehension  of  future  needs,  an  intent  to 
provide  for  them.  The  chapel  was  dedicated  in  May  1869.  Ground 
and  building  costing  nearly  twenty-five  hundred  dollars.  Previously, 
a  city  mission  society  was  formed.  Earlier  propositions  of  the  kind  had 
failed  because  of  jealousies  growing  out  of  the  Young  influence.  Much 
credit  is  due  to  Mr.  Lasher,  that  he  not  only  refused  to  walk  in  leading 
strings,  but  broke  them  in  pieces.  The  enterprise  was  named,  "The 
Hamilton  Mission."  A  missionary,  Rev.  James  Thorn,  had  been 
employed  by  the  City  Mission  Society,  who  labored  in  both  the  Perry 
street  chapel  and  in  the  "Hamilton  Mission." 

On  September  10th,  1874  the  Hamilton  Mission  was  organized 
into  the  Calvary  Baptist  Church  with  a  constituency  of  fifty-four 
members,  nearly  all  of  them  from  the  First  Baptist  Church.  Rev. 
M.  Johnson  was  the  first  pastor  for  two  years,  when  illness  caused  his 
removal.  Rev.  F.  Spencer  followed  for  three  years  to  1877.  Under 
his  labors  continuous  refreshings  were  enjoyed.  Also  the  meeting 
house  was  enlarged.  Illness  limited  the  stay  of  Rev.  L.  H.  Copeland 
as  pastor,  to  a  few  months.  His  successor,  William  H.  Burlew,  also 
had  a  pastorate  of  only  about  eighteen  months. 

In  August  1883,  E.  J.  Foote  having  been  a  "supply"  for  months, 
settled  as  pastor.  During  this  charge,  various  gifts  from  without, 
were  applied  for  repairs,  the  mortgage  debt  was  reduced  and  other 
claims  were  paid.     Mr.  Foote  resigned  in  1889. 

Next  came  as  pastor.  Rev.  H.  B.  Harper  in  1890.  In  1891,  plans 
were  adopted  for  a  new  church  edifice  which  was  begun  in  August 
1891 .  The  next  April,  1892,  the  unfinished  audience  room  was  occupied 
furnished  with  the  old  furniture  of  the  old  house.  The  church  has 
never  as  yet,  recovered  from  this  folly.  Had  the  old  house  been 
cleansed,  painted  and  furnished  anew,  it  would  have  saved  the  church 
from  a  debt  that  has  paralyzed  it  and  every  pastor's  work  since.  Mr. 
Harper  resigned  after  three  years  and  fled  from  the  burden  with  which 
he  had  cursed  the  church.  Some  pastors  have  the  gift  of  getting 
churches  into  trouble  and  then  leaving  them  for  more  comfortable 
quarters  and  enjoying  the  disasters  they  have  left.  Mr.  Foote  was 
a  member  of  the  church  and  had  he  insisted  upon  a  reasonable  im- 
provement and  enlargement  of  the  building,  it  could  have  been  made 
attractive.  He  also  has  gotten  away  to  more  pleasing  surroundings  in 
a  church  able  to  pay  expenses. 


III  1893,  Hov.  D.  S.  Mulhcrn  entered  tlie  pastoriite.  It  devolved 
on  him  to  complete  the  buildinj^,  The  andience  room  most  unsi[:;htly, 
unfinished,  with  delapidated  furniture,  the  debt  and  folly  from  which 
Mr.  Harper  liad  fled,  was  increased  by  this  needful  improvement.  It 
was  then  ileeided  to  dedicate  the  house,  which  took  place  in  June! 895. 
A  feature  of  the  service  was,  that  Rev.  T.  S.  Griffiths,  pastor  of  the 
Central  ('hureh,  when  the  Perry  street  chapel  wa.s  built,  offered  the 
prayer  of  dccHcation,  also  offered  the  prayc^r  of  dedication  at  the 
"Hamilton  Mission"  was  sent  to  olTer  the  prayer  of  dedication  of  this 
sanctuary.  Mr.  Mulhcrn  was  pastor  about  three  years.  In  this 
short  time  there  were  almost  as  many  l)aptized  into  the  church  as  in 
the  ten  years  before.  The  largest  number  of  baptisms  in  one  year,  sev- 
enty-five, w:is  in  this  charge. 

Mr.  Mulhcrn  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  J.  K.  Manning.  Good  hopes 
were  indulged  for  the  church  under  Mr.  Manning,  but  the  hopeless 
relief  from  debt  is  a  sufficient  explanation  of  disappointment.  Some 
suggest  abandoning  the  j)rop('rly  and  locating  elsewhere.  But  the 
large;  pojiulation  about  the  house  of  worship  must  be  cared  for.  If 
the  First  Baptist  churcli  would  undertake  relieving  the  church  of 
debt,  they  could  do  it.  Mr.  Manning  wjis  still  pastor  in  1900. 
The  clun-ch  hius  h:id  eight  pastors.  Two  houses  of  worship,  the  first 
built  and  paid  for  by  the  First  church,  the  Second  which  if  the  church 
could  sell  for  its  ilebt,  would  be  in  an  improved  condition.  Three 
hundred  and  eighty-oiu;  have  been  baptized  up  to  1900,  an  annual 
average  of  nearly  fourteen. 

As  saiil  in  the  history  of  the  First  Baptist  church  of  Trenton,  under 
Mr.  Lasher's  enterprising  antl  missionary  pastorate  lots  were  given 
in  the  sixth  ward  on  which  to  build  a  chapel.  In  June  1870,  the  pastor 
induced  the  church  to  build  the  chapel  and  begin  mission  work.  The 
building  was  dedicated  on  March  19th,  1871.  A  Sunday  school  and 
devotional  meetings  were  maintained  until  1891.  When  the  fifth 
Baptist  church  was  organized  with  a  membership  of  thirty-one,  twenty- 
eight  of  them  were  dismissed  from  the  First  church,  under 
the  pastoral  care  of  Rev.  Elijah  Lucas.  At  its  origin,  T.  C  Young 
was  identified  with  the  church  first  as  "supply"  then  as  pastor.  He 
resigned  in  1893,  and  in  Scptcmper  1893,  Rev.  J.  P.  Hunter  became 
pastor.  In  that  year,  lots  in  another  location  were  bought,  with  the 
intent  to  move  the  building  to  the  new  lots.  This  was  accomplished 
in  1894.  Mr.  Hunter  terminated  his  pjistorate  in  1896.  Rev.  F.  C. 
Brown  followed  him  that  year.  Mr.  Brown's  coming  was  attended 
with  tokens  of  Divine  blessing  and  many  converts  were  added  to 
the  church  by  baptism.     Pastor  Brown  resigned  in  1899.     Mr.  C.  M. 


Anglo  in  that  yciir  wius  culled  iind  ord.iiiicd,  ixjconiinf!;  pastor.     Mr. 
Atif^ln  in  pastor  in  li)()(). 

Youiif!;  cliiirclics  in  cities  have  a  l()tifi;,]jliard  stnigKlc;  into  indo- 
|)(!nd(!nc(;  of  outside;  aid.  The  more  so,  if  under  the  shadow  of  a  large 
and  infhuiiitial  church.  If,  however,  generosity  and  open  heartedness 
he  in  the  p.'ustor  of  the  mother  church,  toward  the  struggling  hand,  the 
burden  is  shared  and  lightcuKMl.  But  if  selfishness  and  home  interests 
dominate  the  pjustor  and  mother  church  and  the  younger  is  left  to 
carry  its  own  burdens,  only  those  who  know  the;  hard.ships  of  building 
up  a  young  church  in  th(;  busy  city,  can  know  the  and  anxiety 
of  such  an  enteri)  The  word  of  tlu;  Apostle  in  II  Cor.  12:14, 
"For  the  children  ought  not  to  lay  up  for  the  parents,  but  the  t)are,nts 
for  the  cliildreii,"  is  a  rul(>  of  th(>  nilationsliip  between  a  mother  church 
and  its  daughter.  Fifth  Trenton  church  has  had  four  p;istors,  one 
meeting  house  which  has  been  r  moved  from  one  location  to  another. 




Hamilton  Square  was  originally  named  Nottingham  Square 
Baptist  church;  by  a  division  of  the  township,  the  church  edifice  was 
in  Hamilton  township  and  the  name  was  changed  to  that  of  the  town. 
That  wonderful  man,  Peter  Wilson,  pastor  of  Hightstown  Baptist 
church,  made  a  station  at  Hamilton  Square  in  1785.  A  house  of  wor- 
ship was  built  in  1788.  The  lot  was  given  by  Mr.  Eldridge  and  the 
house  erected  through  Mr.  Nutt.  Those  converted  at  the  Square 
united  with  the  Hightstown  church  and  the  Hamilton  Square  church 
was  organized  April  25th,  1812,  of  members  dismissed  from  Hights- 
town church.  Mr.  Wilson  was  the  first  pastor  resigning  in  1816,  a 
period  of  thirty-one  years  from  1785  and  four  years  after  the  consti- 
tution of  the  church.  Rev.  Mr.  Boswell  of  First  Trenton  church 
followed  Mr.  Wilson  in  1818,  serving  four  years.  When  adopting 
Swedenborgian  views,  he  was  excluded  form  First  Trenton  Baptist 
church.  Rev.  John  Seger  became  pastor  at  Hamilton  Square  in  1820, 
preaching  alternately  at  Hightstown  and  Hamilton  Square.  Two 
years  of  this  time  was  in  alternation  at  the  Square  with  Mr.  Boswell  of 
First  Trenton  Baptist  church.  Mr.  Seger  served  Hamilton  Square 
for  twelve  years.  He  was  very  useful,  highly  esteemed  and  his  labors 
and  influence  of  an  abiding  character.  After  his  resignation,  three 
years  of  pastoral  destitution  occurred.  In  this  time,  assention  pre- 
vailed; antinomianism  developed.  In  1835,  Rev.  W.  D.  Hires  was 
pastor  a  few  months. 

Rev.  S.  Stites  became  pastor  in  1837.  He  was  the  first  to  give 
his  entire  time  to  the  church.  Humble  and  a  Godly  man,  he  labored 
amid  many  trials  from  the  antinomian  element  for  sixteen  years. 
Says  a  later  pastor:  "Few  would  have  labored  so  long  and  been  so 
diligent  for  a  church,  so  wanting  in  sympathy  and  respect  for  a  pastor, 
as  was  this  church."  Only  the  staunchness  of  pastor  Stites  saved  the 
church  from  being  swept  away  by  antinomianism.  Their  contentions 
were  a  great  injury  to  the  cause  of  Christ.  The  church  clerk,  one  of 
them,  when  these  sloughed  off,  took  the  early  records  of  the  church 
to  this  faction,  so  that  they  are  lost.  While  Mr.  Stites  was  pastor,  a 
parsonage  was  built  in  1839.  The  sanctuary  built  in  1785  and  in  use 
sixty-six  years,  which  was  supplanted  by  a  larger  and  better  house 


in  1851.  Pastor  Stites  resigned  in  1852  and  settled  as  pastor  in  a 
near  by  church,  where  he  ministered  two  years,  even  though  suffering 
great  physical  sickness,  aggravated  by  his  trials  at  Hamilton  Square 
and  then  went  to  where  "the  wicked  cease  from  troubling." 

In  the  next  June  1853,  Rev.  William  Paulin  settled  as  pastor. 
His  ministry  had  positive  results;  in  changing  pastors,  the  benevolence 
of  the  church  was  developed  and  the  Sunday  school  which  had  been 
extinct  for  a  long  time.  Mr.  Paulin  gathered  many  converts  into 
tiie  church  and  closed  his  charge  at  Hamilton  Square  in  January  1859. 
Rev.  A.  H.  Bliss  entered  the  pastoral  office  in  the  next  August  and 
resigned  there  at  the  end  of  three  years,  leaving  the  church  in  the 
enjoyment  of  revival  mercies. 

On  February  1st,  1863,  Rev.  W.  E.  Watkinson  entered  upon  charge 
of  the  church.  Mr.  Watkinson  was  an  active  and  devoted  pastor,  as 
well  as  a  good  preacher.  Congregations  increased  rapidly;  the  larger 
house  and  its  spacious  galleries  were  crowded  with  an  interested  and 
earnest  people.  Thus  for  eight  years,  the  church  grew  in  all  the 
elements  of  growth  and  power.  Seldom  has  a  pastor  wrought  so 
great  a  change  and  accomplished  such  gains.  In  one  of  the  annual 
revival  seasons,  Mr.  Watkinson  baptized  eighty-nine.  Among  them 
were  twenty-two  husbands  and  their  wives.  The  annual  average  of 
baptisms  for  eight  years  was  more  than  thirty-five.  The  visits  of  Mr. 
Watkinson  to  his  old  field  were  very  much  like  a  jubilee. 

In  1870,  the  church  decided  to  build  a  house  of  worship  at  Allen- 
town,  anticipating  there  a  church  organization.  Pastor  Watkinson 
resigned  to  take  effect  in  1871.  Rev.  W.  W.  Case  accepted  a  call  to 
be  pastor  and  entered  the  pastorate  in  October  1871.  His  father. 
Rev.  J.  B.  Case  is  widely  known  in  New  Jersey  as  a  useful  and  honored 
pastor  for  many  years.  Mr.  Case  retained  his  charge  for  ten  years, 
closing  his  labors  at  Hamilton  Square  in  December  1881.  Several 
revivals  were  enjoyed  while  Mr.  Case  was  pastor.  A  large  and  modern 
house  was  built  accommodating  the  congregations  that  crowded  and 
overflowed  the  old  house.  The  AUentown  movement  was  revived 
and  a  colony  of  efficient  men  and  women  were  dismissed  to  constitute 
a  church  there,  which,  since  its  organization  has  been  self-supporting 
and  a  helper  of  all  good  things  in  the  field  in  which  it  is  located.  But 
for  the  trustfulness  of  the  people  in  their  pastor,  calling  on  him  to 
write  their  "wills,"  dividing  their  property  between  the  church  and 
their  heirs,  who  loaded  the  odium  of  losing  gain  on  the  pastor,  Mr. 
Case  might  have  been  at  Hamilton  Square  to-day,  efficient  and  useful 
as  at  the  first.  The  moral  is:  Let  pastors  beware  of  writing  "wills," 
that  bequeath  anything  to  benevolence,  which  covetous  "heirs"  expect. 


Had  Mr.  Case  heeded  tlie  wise  man's  councils  in  Prov.  22:3,  which  he 
repeats  as  of  special  moment,  he  would  have  escaped  much  slander 
and  hate. 

In  1882,  Rev.  Joseph  Butterworth  accepted  a  call  to  be  pastor, 
remaining  four  years  and  enjoying  a  full  average  of  prosperity.  Mr. 
Butterworth  was  followed  by  Rev.  J.  B.  Hutchinson  in  September 
1886.  Mr.  Hutchinson  was  one  of  the  great  preachers  of  his  day. 
Unaided  by  "notes"  his  sermons  both  in  rhetoric  and  in  discussion 
were  most  remarkable  if  not  perfect.  He  married  an  estimable  lady 
of  his  congregation,  with  usual  result.  At  the  end  of  three  years  he 
accepted  for  the  second  time  a  call  to  Philadelphia.  Two  years  later, 
it  was  said  at  his  burial,  by  one  who  had  known  him  long  and  inti- 
mately : 

"Thus,  not  many,  comparatively,  know  aught  of  him  whom  we 
mourn  to-day.  We  are  here  with  the  memory  of  a  dear  and  nol^le 
friend — one  who  has  left  the  world  better  than  he  found  it — one  who 
has  stood  as  a  rock  amid  the  raging  currents  of  men's  opinions,  turning 
them  hither  and  thither,  but  ever  himself  pointing  them  to  the  Cross. 
God  only  knows  the  value  of  such  a  life. 

"The  mightiest  forces  of  Nature  are  silent  in  their  operation.  The 
planets  and  the  sun,  and  the  sun's  sun,  on  up  to  the  Throne  of  God, 
give  out  no  sound.  They  who  dwell  therein  hear  nothing  and  see 
nothing  of  the  subtle  power  that  holds  each  in  its  place.  And  so, 
with  rare  exceptions,  the  greatest  power  of  a  life  is  its  unnoticed  in- 

"The  world  does  not  know  its  greatest  and  best  dwellers.  As  the 
fragrance  of  the  flowers  and  the  fruitage  of  the  forests,  unknown  and 
ungathered  of  men,  exceed  that  of  which  we  are  conscious,  so  of  human 
life  and  doings.  But  God  knows  them.  And  this  makes  us  glad. 
Since,  so  it  is  that  which  is  good  and  true  and  Godly  cannot  be  lost. 

"The  inaudible  lesson  of  the  broken  seal,  the  open  sepulcher,  the 
folded  napkin  on  its  stony  pillow,  is  graven  upon  the  soul  as  no  voice 
could  have  done  it." 

After  Mr.  Hutchinson,  Rev.  G.  Young  followed.  He  continued 
until  September  1894.  Followinj:;  Mr.  Young,  Rev.  W.  T.  G;illoway 
became  pastor,  beginning  his  duties  in  1895.  He  was  .still  pastor  in 
900.  One  church,  AUentown,  has  been  colonized  from  Hamilton 
Square,  with  fifty-two  members.  Another,  under  the  labors  of  Rev. 
A.  S.  Flock  in  the  vicinity  of  Hamilton  Square,  of  Windsoi-.  Under 
the  labors  of  Mr.  Flock,  many  converts  were  baptized  and  added  to 
Hamilton    Square,    Hightstown    and    AUentown    churches.     Some    of 


these  agreed  to  unite  in  1898  and  constituted  themselves  at  the  Bap- 
tist church  at  Windsor;  Mr.  Flock  becoming  pastor. 

Several  members  of  Hamilton  Square  have  been  licensed.  Three 
church  edifices  have  been  in  use.  One  built  in  1785,  twenty-seven 
years  before  the  church  was  constituted.  Another,  in  1851,  under 
Pastor  Segar.  A  third  in  1881  under  Mr.  Case's  pastorate.  An 
incident  in  the  history  of  this  church  relative  to  the  tavern  license, 
and  the  change  their  temperance  ideas  have  undergone  is  found  in 
the  chapter  on  temperance  and  was  it  not  so  sorrowful  is  significant. 
Another  told  to  the  writer  by  Deacon  John  West  of  Hamilton  Square, 
whose  grandmother  was  baptized  by  Abel  Morgan  opposite  to  Red 
Bank,  Monmouth  county.  At  the  baptism  the  people  sang  the  hymn 
which  modern  compilers  deny  a  place  in  our  hymn  books  of  Praise. 
Christians,  if  your  heart  be  warm, 

Ice  and  snow  can  do  no  harm. 
If  by  Jesus  you  are  prized 

Rise,  believe  and  be  baptized. 
(And  other  verses.) 

Allentown  is  in  Monmouth  County,  about  five  miles  east  of  Ham- 
ilton Square.  It  is  a  rural  town  off  of  railroads.  This  explains  wh)% 
in  the  midst  of  five  or  six  large  Baptist  churches  it  is  only  in  1874, 
that  a  Baptist  church  was  formed  there.  Numerous  members  of 
Hamilton  Sqtiare  lived  in  and  near  to  the  town,  but  were  content 
with  their  old  home.  Population  tended  to  commercial  centers.  The 
quiet  and  lonely  place  might  have  been  longer  without  a  Baptist  church 
had  not  its  seclusion  been  an  attraction  to  a  widow  with  a  family  of 
children.  She  moved  there  in  1852.  One  of  her  sons  was  a  Baptist 
before  their  coming  and  another  later.  Both  joined  the  Hamilton 
Square  Baptist  church   walking  thither  on  the  Lord's  Day. 

In  the  years  1847-51,  Pastor  Armstrong  of  Upper  Freehold  church, 
preached  occasionally  in  Allentown  and  Rev.  W.  E.  Watkinson  of 
Hamilton  Square  church  arranged  in  1863  to  preach  regularly  in 
Allentown.  He  could  not  induce  his  church  to  buy  lots  and  build 
a  house  of  worship  in  the  town.  It  may  be,  that  it  was  best  that  he 
failed  since  they  might  have  bought  cheap  lots  on  a  back  street  and 
built  a  house  to  correspond.  At  a  proper  season,  Mr.  W^atkinson 
preached  in  a  near  by  grove  and  the  Methodists  allowed  him  occasionally 
the  use  of  their  house.  But  objections  to  the  movement  arose  from  an 
unexpected  quarter  and  the  meetings  ceased. 

When  Mr.  Case  settled  at  Hamilton  Square,  he  renewed  appoint- 
ments at  Allentown.  In  1873,  the  Rogers  brothers,  all  of  whom  were 
Baptists  and  sons  of  the  widow  referred  to,    became  owners  of  an  old 


store  building.  They  fitted  up  an  upper  room  at  their  own  cost  for 
Baptist  worship.  The  place  was  opened  for  worship  July  20th,  1873. 
This  is  another  instance  of  many  in  New  Jersey,  of  Baptists  standing 
by  their  convictions  of  truth,  of  duty  and  of  their  reward  in  triumph. 
A  Baptist  home  developed  Baptist  unity  and  purpose.  Pastors  at 
Hamilton  Square  and  at  Upper  Freehold  preached  at  appointed 
seasons.  Pastor  Case  began  special  meetings  in  November  1873, 
neighboring  pastors  aiding  him.  One  result  of  these  meetings  was,  that 
eleven  persons  were  baptized  in  a  stream  close  by  on  December  27th, 

It  was  soon  after  decided  to  organize  a  Baptist  church.  Letters 
of  dismission  were  given  by  Hamilton  Square  church  to  any  of  its 
members  wishing  to  unite  with  the  AUentown  enterprise  and  on  the 
23rd  of  March,  1874,  the  AUentown  church  was  recognized  consisting 
of  fifty-two  constituents.  At  a  meeting  of  the  church  on  May  28th, 
1874,  Rev.  W.  E.  Watkinson  was  called  to  be  pastor.  Having  preached 
a  few  weeks,  consent  was  given  him  to  recall  his  acceptance  of  the 
pastorate  on  account  of  serious  illness. 

"Supplies"  ministered  to  the  church  until  October  12th,  1874, 
when  Rev.  W.  Lincoln  settled  as  pastor.  He  was  pastor  until  his 
death  on  April  24th,  1877.  His  charge  was  both  happy  and  fruit- 
ful. Both  himself  and  wife  were  buried  in  AUentown.  The  succession 
of  pastors  was:  J.  W.  Grant,  1877-8,  one  year;  W.  H.  Burlew,  1878-81; 
S.  L.  Cox,  1882-85;  H.  Tratt,  1885-88;  T.  C.  Young,  1888-90:  W.  W. 
Bullock,  1891-96;  A.  R.  Babcock,  1896-1900. 

The  first  place  of  worship  was  owned  by  the  Rogers  Brothers  and 
the  church  had  the  use  of  it  without  cost  until  October,  1879.  The 
church  was  compelled  to  have  more  room  for  the  accommodation  of 
the  congregation.  In  August,  1878,  steps  were  taken  to  build  a 
meeting  house  large  enough  to  hold  their  congregation.  Contracts 
were  made  for  such  a  sanctuary  to  be  ready  for  use  in  October,  1879. 
On  October  5th,  baptism  was  administered  in  the  baptistery. 

The  Rogers  Brothers  had  their  usual  share  in  building  and  pay- 
ment for  this  house  of  worship.  The  building  itself  is  a  most  creditable 
one,  thoroughly  equipped  with  a  large  pipe  organ,  heaters  and  fitly 
furnished.  Special  revivals  have  been  often  enjoyed  by  the  church 
and  unity  has  always  characterized  it.  Its  members  include  a  positive 
element  of  social  influence.  Other  denominations  had  preceded 
Baptists  and  were  rooted  in  the  community  and  cared  for  their  own. 
A  proper  thing  to  do.  StiU  they  have  been  kindly  to  later  comers. 
One  member  has  been  licensed  to  preach  and  is  a  pastor.  Of  the 
Rogers  Brothers,  one  is  left  in  AUentown.     The  others  have  gone  to 


their  bless?ed  reward.  Tlie  church  is  a  memorial  of  their  integrity  and 
of  their  devoted  Christian  faitlifulness  to  truth,  duty  and  to  God.  The 
widow  mother  wrought  a  good  work  by  her  removal  to  Allentown  and 
by  training  men  of  might  and  character  to  accomplish  large  things  for 
the  Lord  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ. 

The  church  named  Princeton  is  located  at  Penn's  Neck,  a  mile 
east  of  Princeton.  Originally,  it  was  known  as  Williamsburg.  On 
the  thoroughfare  from  Philadelphia  to  New  York,  it  is  believed  that 
William  Penn  and  George  Washington  slept  in  the  public  house,  which 
is  now  the  Baptist  parsonage.  The  following  is  a  copy  of  the  writing 
of  Peter  Wilson,  a  preface  in  the  original  church  book  of  the  Princeton 
church  at  Penn's  Neck. 

"Williamsborough  Baptist  church  book  commencing  December 
5th,  1812,  at  which  time  and  place,  their  meeting  house  was  opened 
and  solemnly  dedicated  to  and  for  the  worship  of  God.  History  of 
the  rise  and  progress  at  Williamsborough,  Penn's  Neck,  West  Windsor 
township,  county  of  Middlesex  and  State  of  New  Jersey.  Ministry  of 
Rev.  Peter  Wilson.  Preaching  commenced  at  John  Flock's  in  the 
township  of  Maiden  Head  (Pennington).  Also  at  tlie  house  of  John 
Campbell's  in  Princeton.  John  Flock  and  his  wife  joined  the  Baptist 
church  (Hightstown)  that  year,  1790,  Preaching  commenced  at  John 
Hights  on  Penn's  Neck  and  continued  in  different  private  houses  in 
Princeton.  Peggy  Schank  was  baptized  June  12th,  the  above  year. 
1791,  John  Hight  and  wife  were  baptized.  Richard  Thomas  and  wife 
were  baptized  in  1792  (Mr.  Thomas  was  a  delegate  to  the  New  Jersey 
Association  formed  in  1811,  also  to  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  State 
Convention  begun  in  1830.)  Following  is  a  list  of  the  baptized  in  1793-6, 
1798-2,  1803-5,  1807-8,  1810-2,  1811-3,  these  being  entered  in  the  church 
book  of  Williamsborough,  were  residents  of  Penn's  Neck  and  vicinity. 

Mr.  Wilson  adds:  "It  is  remarkable  that  God  influenced  and 
disposed  William  Covenhoven,  Joseph  Grover,  John  Applegate,  Ben- 
jamin Maple,  William  Vaughan,  Henry  Silvers,  John  Jones,  Joseph 
Smith,  Richard  Thomas,  John  Flock,  Ezekiel  R.  Wilson,  members  of  the 
church  (Hightstown)  Joseph  Stout,  J.  A.  Schank,  John  Grover  and 
without  exception,  almost  the  inhabitants  of  Penn's  Neck  and  Prince- 
ton generously  contributed  to  raise  a  house  for  God.  It  was  undertaken 
with  spirit  and  the  carpenters  worked  well  and  nearly  completed  to 
the  satisfaction  of  the  managers,  on  the  5th  day  of  December,  1812, 
when  it  was  solemnly  devoted  to  the  service  of  God.  What  remains 
still  more  remarkable  is,  that  the  first  sermon  preached  near  where  the 
meeting  is  erected,  was  in  the  same  house  where  the  .sermon 
was  preached  before  the  dedication  of  the  house.     The  first  sermon 


was  from  Matt.  11:  28-30,  the  last  from  Rom.  13-  14.     All  the  above 
took  place  without  previous  reflection." 


Then  follows  "the  covenant,"  in  Mr.  Wilson's  writing:  A  surprise 
is,  that  it  is  almost  the  same  at  The  Covenant  with  the  New  Hampshire 
confession  of  faith,  now  so  widely  adopted  by  Baptist  churches,  indica- 
ting how  much  alike  the  Baptists  of  the  former  days  and  the  later 
Baptists  are.  On  the  day  in  which  the  house  of  worship  was  dedicated, 
the  church  was  constituted  with  thirty-seven  members,  among  them 
was  a  Grover,  his  wife.  Mr.  Grover  was  a  descendant  of  James  Grover, 
a  con.stituent  of  Middletown  church,  organized  in  1G68;  also  two  Stouts, 
who  may  have  come  from  First  Hopewell  Baptist  church.  The  lot 
for  the  meeting  house  was  the  gift  of  a  Covenhoven  (Conover).  A 
red  sandstone  near  to  the  church  edifice  marks  his  burial 

Rev.  John  Cooper  became  pastor  in  February  1813,  preaching 
one  fourth  of  the  time.  His  successor,  Rev.  Alex  Hastings  was  called 
for  a  year  in  1815.  He  kept  a  school,  netting  him  two  hundred  dollars 
additional  to  what  the  church  pledged.  The  ensuing  three  or  four 
years  was  a  period  of  dissention  and  decline.  Mr.  Howard  Malcolm, 
a  Baptist  student  at  Princeton  college  "supplied"  the  church  from 
November  15th,  1818.  During  his  stay  a  debt  of  five  hundred  dollars 
was  paid.  A  Sunday  school,  with  forty-six  pupils  and  eight  officers 
was  established.  Mr.  Malcom  stayed  till  1821.  On  his  removal,  the 
factious  spirit  broke  out:  from  the  record  book,  the  church  was  a  fighting 
band.  This  condition  continued  until  Rev.  John  Seger  of  Hightstown  and 
Hamilton  Square  preached  for  them  on  alternate  Lord's  Days  in  1821. 
In  that  year,  the  church  adopted  a  rule:  "That  the  female  members 
have  the  privilege  of  voting  on  all  church  business."  An  act  of  incor- 
poration was  also  obtained. 

On  Decemebr  22nd,  1827,  Rev.  Peter  Simonson  became  pastor. 
The  next  year,  the  Presbyterians  of  Dutch  Neck,  tried  to  get 
possession  of  the^house  of  worship.  A  pastor  writing  of  this  said: 
"Resistance  was  offered  to  them,  short,  sharp  and  successful."  A 
condition  in  the  deed  is  "that  if  the  Baptists  ceased  to  use  the  property, 
it  should  pass  to  another  denomination,  who  should  use  it  for  religious 
purposes."  After  Mr.  Simonson,  Rev.  George  Allen  entered  the  pas- 
torate in  August  1829.  At  this  time  the  membership  had  fallen  to 
thirty  and  the  congregation  to  three  persons.  The  factions  ruled. 
Rev.  D.  P.  Purdun  was  pastor  one  year  in  1830  and  the  name  of  the 
church  was  changed  to  "Penn's  Neck." 


In  1831,  Rev.  George  Allen  was  called  to  a  second  pastoral  care. 
His  second  charge  continued  thirteen  years.  Rev.  Thoma«  Malcom, 
son  of  Howard  Malcom,  a  student  at  Princeton,  visited  and  preached 
for  Mr.  Allen  and  on  his  ministry,  as  his  father's  in  the  same  place,  the 
Divine  blessing  rested,  a  revival  came  and  now  after  sixty  years,  mem- 
ory recalled  the  old  times  of  blessing  under  the  Father's  labors.  Mr. 
Allen  resigned  in  1844,  having  passed  his  seventieth  year,  returning 
to  Burlington,  where  like  to  Mr.  Boswell,  of  First  Trenton,  he  had  been 
deacon  and  pastor  and  died  there,  eighty-seven  years  old.  Thomas 
Malcom  supplied  the  vacancy  till  Rev.  Jackson  Smith  settled  in  1844-5. 
whose  health  compelled  his  retirement  from  the  ministry.  Under 
Rev.  D.  D.  Grey,  who  was  called  to  be  pastor  in  1846,  the  years  of  1847 
and  48  were  seasons  of  pre-eminent  revival  interest.  Unhappily,  his 
stay  was  but  three  years  and  despite  protests  persisted  in  his  resig- 
nation. Prior,  however,  to  his  leaving,  "the  church  appointed  a  com- 
mittee with  power  to  exact  from  each  member  their  proportion  as  may 
be  deemed  by  themselves  as  just  and  equal." 

William  C.  Ulyat  was  ordained  for  the  pastorate  in  August  1850. 
In  that  year  also,  it  was  resolved  "that  in  the  Providence  of  God,  we 
believe  that  the  time  has  come  when  we  should  build  a  house  of  worship 
in  Princeton  and  there  have  the  center  of  our  labors."  This  question 
of  the  removal  of  the  church  to  Princeton  had  been  under  discussion 
for  years.  Had  Mr.  Peter  Wilson  anticipated  Princeton  becoming 
the  center  of  influence  it  is,  he  would  doubtless  located  Penn's  Neck 
church  there.  The  writer  recalls  debates  in  the  Board  of  the  State 
Convention  in  Mr.  Grey's  charge.  One  curious  reason  given  for  it: 
It  was,  that  the  town  was  a  Presbyterian  town  and  if  the  people  had 
Baptist  light,  they  would  be  Baptists.  Much  unwise  talk  was  indulged 
in.  '  Hon.  Richard  Stockton  kindly  and  generously  gave  a  lot  for  a 
Baptist  church  edifice.  Other  locations  were  offered  for  a  price,  which 
if  bought,  the  Baptist  church  might  have  been  permanently  in  Prince- 
ton. The  building  was  begun  when  the  lot  was  secured  and  ready  for 
use  at  the  time  of  removal  to  Princeton  in  1853.  In  the  meantime, 
Mr.  Ulyat  resigned.  Rev.  S.  Sproul  became  pastor  at  Penn's  Neck  in 
October  of  that  year.  The  Princeton  church  edifice  was  dedicated  in 
December  and  the  name  of  the  church  was  changed  to  that  of  its 

Penn's  Neck  church  was  not  a  unit  in  this  movement.  Numbers 
of  its  members  met  in  the  meeting  house  and  organized  themselves  as 
the  West  Windsor  Baptist  church.  In  about  six  years,  the  West 
Windsor  church  disbanded.  While  in  existence,  pastors  Penny, 
Stites  and  Nightengale  ministered  to  it.     The  condition  in  the  deed 


made  it  necessary  to  maintain  worship  at  Penn's  Neck  and  an  after- 
noon service  was  kept  up  by  the  pastors  at  Princeton,  preaching  in 
the  old  sanctuary. 

Rev.  W.  E.  Cornwell  entered  the  pastorate  at  Princeton  in  October 
1856.  Death  closed  his  career  on  earth  on  March  20th,  1857.  Next 
August,  Rev.  G.  Young  settled  as  pastor.  His  pastoral  care  was  happy 
and  useful  till  the  civil  war,  with  its  distractions  affecctd  injuriously 
all  spiritual  influences.  People  were  absorbed  with  its  anxieties  and 
woes.  Nature's  claims  for  loved  ones,  exposed  to  death  and  constant 
peril  could  not  be  denied.  Mr.  Young  possibly  was  pastor  four  or  five 
years.  Usually  his  pastorates  were  short,  but  often  repeated  in  the 
same  church,  being  a  very  able  preacher  and  good  pastor.  Following 
Mr.  Young,  Rev.  J.  B.  Hutchinson  accepted  the  charge  of  the  church. 
He  was  a  remarkable  man,  self  educated  and  one  of  the  most  able  and 
original  preachers  and  in  private  life,  a  lovable  man.  The  tone  of 
intellectual  life  in  Princeton  was  high.  But  Pastor  Hutchinson  could 
look  down  on  it.  His  congregation  included  many  intellectually  elite 
citizens  and  numerous  students  of  the  seminary  regularly  sat  under 
his  ministry.  Then,  as  now,  usually  small  churches  with  limited 
salaries  did  not  retain  as  pastors  foremost  men.  Mr.  Hutchinson  was 
summoned  to  Philadelphia.  Rev.  H.  Y.  Jones,  \^^dely  known  as  a  fore- 
most man  among  Baptists  became  pastor  in  1871.  Foreseeing  trouble 
and  prospective  return  by  the  church  to  Penn's  Neck  he  stayed  only 
a  year. 

Rev.  L.  O.  Crenelle  entered  on  the  pastoral  care  of  the  church 
in  1872.  His  oversight  of  the  church  at  this  time  was  providential. 
His  experience,  eminent  wisdom,  prudence  fitted  him  for  the  peculiar 
situation.  Local  conditions  hindered  the  growth  of  the  church,  sug- 
gesting a  return  to  Penn's  Neck  and  in  1874,  it  was  decided  to  return  to 
the  original  site  of  the  church.  Revival  blessings  delayed  the  move- 
ment for  a  year  and  more.  Hon.  Richard  Stockton  renewed  his 
generous  and  noble  offer  of  former  years,  relieving  the  church  of  stip- 
ulations in  the  deed  of  the  lot,  he  had  given  to  the  church  and  the 
property  in  Princeton  was  sold,  the  money  used  to  entirely  modernize 
the  house  at  Peen's  Neck  built  in  1812  and  as  ancient,  uncouth,  strong 
as  were  church  edifices  sixty  years  since.  The  frame  was  brought  to 
the  front  on  the  street  and  added  to  front  and  back  and  the  building, 
except  the  frame,  made  new  within  and  without. 

These  removals  forth  and  back  incurred  great  loss  of  congregation 
and  of  influence.  Each  removal  had  been  like  to  the  founding  of  new 
churches.  Pastor  Crenelle's  intelligent  devotion  and  able  ministry 
as  nearly  met  these  strange  conditions.     The  new  house  was  attractive 


and  the  winning  personality  of  the  pastor  regained  much  that  liad  been 

Mr.  Crenelle  having  resigned  in  May  1882,  E.  D.  Shall  was  chosen 
pastor,  entered  his  duties  in  February  1883,  retired  in  May  1884.  Rev. 
G.  F.  Love  was  called,  began  his  pastorate  in  November  1884  closing 
his  work  at  Penn's  Neck  at  the  end  of  1888. 

Immediately  on  January  1st,  1889,  T.  S.  Griffiths  having  been 
called,  began  his  labors.  During  the  two  former  pastorates,  clouds 
overshadowed  the  church.  Neither  pastor  nor  people  had  culitvated 
intimacy;  alienation,  indifferences  had  impaired  their  usefulness. 
Debt  also  accumulated,  annual  arrearages  grew  in  amount.  This 
disheartened  the  membership,  troubles  multiplied.  But  the  adoption 
of  plans  to  pay  financial  obligations  when  due  and  to  remove  causes 
of  differences  had  early  fruitiige  in  concord  and  cheer.  Ere  long 
the  accumulated  debt  was  paid.  This  pastorate  lasted  nearly  eight 
years.  The  pastor  closing  his  ministry  when  nearly  seventy-six  years 
old,  all  the  interests  of  the  church  work  growing  into  enlarging  efficiency. 
Rev.  Mr.  Lisk  acted  as  pastor  for  several  months  and  on  his  retirement, 
"supplies"  served  the  church  till  January  1898,  when  Rev.  William 
Wilson  became  pastor  and  is  now  (1900)  filling  the  office. 

Three  have  been  licensed  to  preach.  One.  C.  H.  Malcom,  a  student 
in  Princeton,  and  who  was  a  son  of  Howard  Malcom,  that  in  1819,  was 
an  instrument  of  great  blessing  to  the  church  and  a  brother  to  Thomas 
Malcom,  another  son  of  Howard  Malcom,  who  in  the  ministry  of  Rev. 
George  Allen  was  the  means  of  a  great  revival.  Another,  D.  Silvers, 
a  Presbyterian  student  in  Princeton  Seminary,  baptized  in  1864,  and 
for  many  years  an  able  Baptist  minister  and  a  successful  pastor.  Sev- 
eral church  edifices  have  been  built  .  One,  in  1812,  primitive  in  its 
style,  with  exalted  pulpit,  commanding  galleries.  A  second  at  Prince- 
ton quite  equal  to  any  other  house  of  worship  in  the  town.  The  third 
a  reconstruction  of  the  old  house  at  Penn's  Neck.  Its  reconstruction 
was  so  entire  as  to  have  the  frame  only  left  added  to  front  and  rear 
and  surmounted  with  a  steeple  and  a  bell. 

The  circumstances  of  the  origin  of  the  German  Baptist  church  of 
Jamesburg  were:  Rev.  C.  A.  Schlipf  of  Newark  visited  friends  there 
and  held  monthly  meetings  in  the  shade  of  the  yard  of  his  friend,  Mr. 
Buehler.  His  friend  asked  him  to  hold  a  meeting  in  Helmetta. 
He  did  so.  Whereupon,  Mr.  Helm  (proprietor  of  the  town)  offered 
to  build  a  chapel  if  Mr.  Schlipf  would  continue  his  mission.  He  con- 
sented. On  his  next  visit  the  materials  for  the  chapel  were  on  the 
ground.  Winter  stopped  out-door  work  and  the  building  having  neither 
doors  nor  windows,  a  Sunday  school  and  social  meetings  and  preaching 


were  begun,  although  storms  of  wind,  rain  and  snow  swept  through 
the  shivering  congregation.  Calls  came  to  Mr.  Sclilipf  to  hold  meetings 
in  Janiesburg.  A  hall  was  oiTered  for  his  use.  Mr.  Schlipf  visited 
and  distributed  tracts.  Cottage  meetings  were  held  and  four  German 
Baptists  were  found.  Within  a  year  these  increased  the  number  to 
thirteen.  They  all  joined  the  church  at  Hightstown  and  worshipped  in  a 
a  school  house  at  Jamesburg.  These  thirteen  met  on  May  18th,  1885 
and  organized  the  German  Baptist  Church  at  Jamesburg,  having 
been  dismissed  for  that  purpose.  In  the  end,  the  house  of  worship 
was  built  at  Jamesburg  for  both  of  which,  the  Hightstown  church  made 
generous  contributions.  In  the  erection  of  the  church  edifice  a  wind 
storm  nearly  tore  the  structure  to  pieces.  It  was  rebuilt  and  in  Feb- 
ruary 1887,  was  dedicated.  Later,  adjoining  lots  were  bought  and  a 
parsonage  built  in  1892.  Mr.  Schlipf  resigned  in  1894,  after  ten  years 
of  devoted  work.  This  German  church  is  being  slov/ly  Americanized 
as  have  been  other  German  Baptist  churches  in  New  Jersey.  The 
church  has  increased  to  quite  a  numerous  body  and  English  services 
are  held  in  the  afternoon  of  the  Lord's  Day,  begun  in  1901  or  2,  under 
the  conduct  of  Pastor  F.  G.  Walter,  whose  English  ministry  is  very 
satisfactory.  Rev.  C.  H.  Baum  followed  Mr.  Schlipf  in  1894  and 
ministered  one  year.  The  next  pastor  was  Rev.  E.  H.  Otto,  who 
settled  in  1896.  Repairs  were  made  on  the  house  of  worship  in  1897. 
The  social  meetings  at  Helmetta,  that  through  a  misunderstanding 
had  been  suspended  were  renewed.  Mr.  Otto  resigned  in  Novemeber, 
1899  and  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  F.  G.  Walter  in  1900,  who  is  enjoying 
the  confidence  of  his  brethren  as  did  his  predecessors. 



A  small  stream  called  "Dividing  Creek"  gave  its  name  to  the 
village  on  its  banks  and  to  the;  Baptist  church  located  there.  Morgan 
Edwards  states  of  the  origin  of  the  Baptist  church:  "About  the  year 
1749,  a  colony  of  menil)ers  of  Cohansie  church  moved  to  "Dividing 
Creek,"  which  involved  visits  of  the  pastor.  Rev.  Robert  Kelsay  and 
several  residents  were  converted." 

The  village  being  on  the  way  from  Cohansie  to  First  Cape  May 
church,  other  ministers  stopped  there  and  preached  as  was  an  old  time 
custom.  In  1751,  Mr.  Seth  Love  gave  a  large  plot  of  ground  on  which 
to  build  a  Baptist  meeting  house.  When  built  is  not  known,  but  the 
minutes  of  a  council  to  recognize  the  church  state  that  "We  met  the 
said  people  in  their  meeting  house,"  and  the  house  must  have  been 
erected  before  the  church  wits  formed. 

This  building  was  burned  in  1770.  Of  the  colonists  to  Dividing 
Creek  from  Cohansie,  four  of  them  were  Sheppards  and  it  may  have 
been  a  family  party.  Rev.  Samuel  Heaton  and  his  wife  removed 
from  Cape  May  to  Dividing  Creek,  making  the  number  of  Baptists 
twelve.  (Mr.  Edwards  gives  twelve;  names)  and  these  organized  into 
a  Baptist  church  in  May  17G1.  In  that  year  they  bought  one  hundred 
acres  of  hmd,  built  on  it  a  dwelling  house  and  other  needed  buildings 
(a  parsonage)  for  their  pastor,  costing  several  thousand  dollars.  Indi- 
cating ample  means  both  to  care  for  the  pastor  and  also  a  readiness 
to  expend  them  for  Christ.  Considering  that  in  these  early  days 
incomes  were  uncertain  but  necessarily  small,  especially  in  the  country, 
a  parsonage  farm  and  additional  salary  to  pay  wages  of  men  to  work 
the  farm,  the  pastor  was  relieved  of  anxiety  for  his  support.  We 
Baptists  have  reason  to  be  thankful  for  our  ancestry  and  to  be  proud 
of  them.  Rev.  Samuel  Heaton,  the  first  pastor,  was  a  constituent 
of  the  church  and  served  the  church  sixteen  years  till  he  died  in  Septem- 
ber 1777,  sixty-six  years  old.  (For  the  remarkable  history  of  Mr. 
Heaton  and  how  he  became  a  Baptist,  see  History  of  Mount  Olive 
church,  Sussex  County.)  Mr.  Heaton's  pastorate  was  most  happy. 


His  ministry  was  in  the  demonstration  and  power  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 
After  his  death,  Rev.  P.  P.  Van  Horn  "suppUed"  the  church  once  in 
two  weeks  and  in  1779  was  called  to  be  pastor  continuing  till  1783, 
really  being  pastor  nearly  six  years.  Mr.  Van  Horn  was  a  devoted 
pastor  till  he  died  at  Salem  in  1789.  His  labors  at  Dividing  Creek 
were  eminently  useful.  Rev.  Wiliam  Locke  became  pastor  in 
spring  of  1785,  but  God  called  him  on  high  the  next  September.  Mr. 
John  Garrison,  Jr.,  a  licentiate  of  the  church  "supplied"  the  church 
until  called  to  be  pastor  and  was  ordained  in  1787  and  died  while 
pastor  in  1790.  Mr.  Garrison  is  supposed  to  have  been  a  grandson 
of  A.  Garrison,  licensed  by  Cohansie  in  1743.  He  was  baptized  by 
Mr.  Heaton,  whose  daughter  he  married.  A  vacancy  occurred  of  nearly 
two  years  in  the  pastoral  office,  when  Rev.  G.  A.  Hunt  settled  as 
pastor.  Mr.  Hunt  resigned  in  1796.  "Supplies"  again  preached  till 
ISOl.  when  Rev.  John  Rutter  entered  the  pastoral  office,  remaining 
two  years.  Rev.  D.  Stone  followed  and  served  about  four  years. 
Suppfies  again  ministered  for  two  years.  Then  in  July,  1810,  Rev. 
David  Bateman  was  pastor.  His  is  a  memorable  name  in  New  Jer- 
sey. His  charge  at  Dividing  Creek  was  only  two  years.  They  were 
years  of  the  right  hand  of  the  most  High.  It  is  believed  that  Mr. 
Bateman  was  born  at  Cohansie  in  1777.  Not  until  four  years  had 
gone  did  Dividing  Creek  church  have  another   pastor. 

In  1816,  Rev  Thomas  Brooks  became  pastor  and  for  twenty  years 
until  1836,  held  the  office,  serving  most  acceptably.  When  seventy- 
five  years  old,  Mr.  Brooks  resigned.  In  early  life,  he  had  been  a 
sailor.  During  the  American  Revolution,  he  was  taken  prisoner  by 
the  English  and  suffered  the  horrible  treatment  they  usually  imposed 
upon  their  American  prisoners,  especially  sailors.  He  and  others 
were  shut  in  the  hold  of  a  ship  and  starved|till  their  hair  fell  out  and 
they  had  the  alternative  of  joining  the  British  or  of  "walking  the 
plank."  Finally  they  were  taken  to  England  and  shut  up  in  prison 
for  two  years  and  starved.  They  even  caught  and  eat  dogs  that  came 
with  visitors  allowed  to  see  them. 

Rev.  William  Bacon,  M.  D.  followed  Mr.  Brooks.  The  salary 
was  insufficinet  for  his  support  and  he  supplemented  it  with  his  medical 
practice.  Dr.  Bacon  was  pre-eminently  a  good  man.  His  purity 
of  life  won  him  friends  in  all  circles  of  society.  His  domestic  life  was 
most  trying  to  a  man  of  chastity.  For  eleven  years  he  served  the 
church.  The  Doctor's  unaffected  piety  gave  him  great  power  with 
men,  the  more  so,  because  of  his  noble  Christian  patience  with  the 
infidelities  of  his  home.     At  last,  in  1868,  he  had  rest  in  death. 


In  1850,  Rev.  Daniel  Kelsay,  son  of  Pastor  Kelsay  of  Cohansic, 
entered  the  pastorate  and  ministered  to  the  church  four  years  till 
1853.  Mr.  Kelsay  had  many  of  the  excellent  qualities  of  his  prede- 
cessor, unassuming,  intelligent  and  good.  The  church  and  the  com- 
munity could  not  Init  be  bettered  by  his  relation  to  it.  A  young  man 
succeeded  Mr.  Kelsay  in  June  1854.  Rev.  U.  Cauffman  soon  winning 
the  hearts  of  the  people,  an  unclouded  sunshine  filled  the  future.  These 
however,  were  all  disappointed.  In  ten  months  he  died  on  April  17th, 
1855,  twenty-eight  years  old.  Rev.  George  Sleeper  settled  as  pastor 
the  next  June  and  after  three  years,  resigned  in  1858. 

In  the  following  forty-two  years,  fifteen  pastors  have  ministered 
to  the  church.  They  are,  H.  W.  Webber,  1859-61;  A.  H.  Folwell, 
1861-63;  Benjamin  Jones,  1863-65;  E.  V.  King,  1865-66;  L.  W.  Wheeler, 
1866-68;  J.  H.  Hyatt,  1869-70.  E.  W.  Stager,  1870-73;  H.  B.  Raybold, 

At  this  the  time  the  church  resolved:  "That  it  is  not  our  interest 
as  a  church  to  change  pastors  every  year  or  two."  A  lesson  of  ex- 
perience. Initiatory  steps  were  taken  at  this  time,  to  erect  a  house 
of  worship  at  Point  Norris.  C.  P.  DeCamp,  1877-78;  M.  M.  Finch, 
1879-84.  The  church  edifice  at  Point  Norris  was  built  in  this  term 
and  sixty-three  members  were  dismissed  to  constitute  a  church  there. 
W.  Cattell,  1885-88;  J.  W.  Evans,  1889-93;  A.  L.  Williamson,  1894-97; 
E.  Thompson,  1897-  1900.  The  resolution  that  short  pastorates  were 
not  helpful  seems  to  have  been  a  vain  effort  to  reform.  These  frequent 
changes  were  not  due  to  any  difhculties.  The  pastors  were  invariably 
spoken  of  with  commendation,  with  one  exception.  Most  likely  the 
isolation  of  the  church  in  a  rural  district;  an  uncommercial  people 
limiting  growth  and  the  small  salary  to  be  made  out  of  a  farm,  excited 
the  pastors  to  prefer  a  change  of  field,  more,  "in  the  world"  and  in 
touch  with  outside  life,  which  pastors  called  to  inspire  others  to  activity, 
need  more  than  other  men. 

The  Dividing  Creek  church,  even  though  isolated,  has  done  much 
for  the  denomination  in  the  state.  Its  pastors  have  included  some  of 
our  foremost  men.  They  number  in  all,  twenty-eight.  Five  have 
finished  their  work  in  death.  Of  these  men,  the  first  filled  the  office 
sixteen  years.  Another  more  than  twenty  years.  A  third,  eleven 
years.  These  early  Baptists  from  Cohansie,  were  of  the  original 
stamp  and  believed  it  and  were  ready  to  die  for  it.  They  built  a 
meeting  house  and  bought  a  parsonage  farm  and  put  buildings  on  it 
before  the  church  was  organized.  Expansion  was  characteristic  of 
them.  Three  churches  were  colonized  from  Dividing  Creek,  Tuckahoe, 
1771;  Newport,  1855,  where  a  house  of  worship  had  been  built  pre- 


viously  to  the  organization  of  the  church,  having  fifty-one  constituents 
from  Dividing  Creek  church;  Port  Norris,  with  sixty-three  constituents 
from  the  mother  church.  Tuckahoc  has  given  life  to  three  churches, 
West  Creek,  Pt.  Ehzabeth  and  First  Millville  and  the  last  to  North 
Millville.  Ten  Imndrcd  and  fifty-six  converts  liave  been  baptized 
into  the  church. 

Three  meeting-houses  have  been  built  for  Dividing  Creek  church 
The  first  built  before  1761,  burned  in  1770.  The  second  built  after 
the  first  was  burned  in  1771  and  was  burned  in  1821.  A  third  was 
dedicated  in  1823  and  was  enlarged  and  improved  in  1860.  Three 
parsonages  have  been  in  use.  The  first  before  1761,  which  was  sold 
and  one  built  in  1850  and  a  better  one  in  1892.  Such  are  the  known 
fruits  of  the  six  men  and  sLx  women  who  planted  Dividing  Creek 
church,  which  has  yielded  a  glorious  harvest.  Had  they  been  men 
and  women  without  convictions  of  Bible  truth  and  who  dared  maintain 
them  with  life,  could  such  results  have  come  from  their  Avorks? 

Two  Baptist  churches  in  New  Jersey  have  been  named  Tuckahoe, 
one  in  1771.  Originally  all  of  the  country  east  of  Dividing  Creek  was 
included  in  the  field  of  the  Dividing  Creek  church.  The  Baptists 
at  Tuckahoe  were  members  of  Dividing  Creek  church.  Morgan 
Edwards  states  that  "James  Hubbard  gave  the  ground  on  which  the 
first  house  was  built.  His  deed  is  dated  May  15th,  1750,  The  house 
of  worship  was  built  in  1751.  In  1790,  the  people,  on  account  of 
disrepair,  were  planning  to  build  a  new  one.  Alderman  Benezct 
promised  to  "give  them  land,  timber,  glass  and  nails."  The  house 
was  built.  The  church,  also,  used  an  old  vacant  meeting  house  at 
May's  Landing,  twelve  miles  distant."  Mr.  Edwards  adds:  '.'When 
the  Gospel  began  to  be  preached  at  Dividing  Creek  bj'  Nathaniel 
Jenkins,  several  from  these  parts  repaired  there  and  received  serious 
impressions.  Mr.  Jenkins  was  iuA-ited  to  preach  among  them.  He 
did  so,  notwithstanding  his  age  and  Maurice  river  stood  in  his  way.  He 
baptized  some. 

Mr.  Sheppard  of  Salem  visited  them  and  baptized  others.  Mr. 
Kelsay  of  Cohansie  preached  there  and  baptized  and  a  church  was 
organized  in  1771.  They  had  a  large  parsonage  farm  and  dwelling 
on  it.  Their  pastors  were,  James  Sutton,  he  was  a  constituent  of  the 
church  and  ministered  from  1771-2;  Mr.  Lock  was  bred  a  Presbyterian, 
but  wa^  ordained  a  Baptist  minister  in  July  1773  and  resigned  in  1779. 
In  August,  1792,  twenty-nine  members  were  dismissed  to  constitute 
the  West  Creek  Baptist  church.  The  old  Tuckahoe  church  never 
recovered  from  this  depletion.  It  was  disbanded  in  1834.  The  W^est 
Creek  church  of  1792  died  from  a  like  cause. 


This  clipping  is  from  an  old  newspaper: 

"Some  time  ago,  Mr.  Springer,  Sr.,  when  upon  a  trip  to  Tuckahoe, 
sent  me  the  names  of  these  two  pastors  of  the  church,  data  which  he 
collected  from  the  old  graveyard  in  Tuckahoe.  There  lie  buried  the 
Rev.  Isaac  Bonnell,  who  died  July  25th,  1794,  aged  64  years,  as  well 
as  the  Rev.  Peter  Groom,  who  departed  this  life  January  16th,  1807,  aged 
56  years.  The  next  pastor,  says  Mr.  Springer,  was  the  Rev.  Thomas 
Brooks,  and  then  the  Rev.  Mr.  Jayne,  father  of  the  celebrated  Dr.  David 
Jayne,  of  Philadelphia,  and  grandfather  of  Dr.  Horace  Jayne, 
dean  of  the  University  of  Pennsylvania.  (Collegiate  department). 
Revs.  Jayne  and  Brooks  both  died  and  were  buried  in  the  Baptist 
cemetery  at  Dividing  Creek,  where  the  latter  was  pastor  for  23  years." 

Two  Baptist  churches  in  South  Jersey  have  been  named  "West 
Creek."  The  oldest  of  these  was  located  in  Cumberland  county,  near 
the  northwest  boundary  of  Cape  May  county.  Dr.  T.  T.  Price,  of 
Tuckerton  writes  of  the  church  constituted  in  1792:  "The  meeting 
liouse  of  the  church  stood  in  the  woods  two  or  three  miles  from  West 
Creek,  adding  Port  Elizabeth  in  Cumberland  county  or  "Dennisvillc," 
would,"  I  think,  "have  better  accommodated  the  community  than 
the  West  Creek  church  edifice."  Knowing  the  location  of  their  house 
of  worship  it  is  a  wonder  that  the  church  survived  so  long. 

Tuckahoe  church  was  its  origin.  Eight  pastors  served  the  old 
church  and  forty-six  were  baptized  into  its  fellowship.  Rev.  I.  Bon- 
nell, pastor  of  Tuckahoe  was  also  pastor  at  West  Creek  till  near  his  illness  and  death  in  1794.  Rev.  P.  Groom  followed  and  was 
pastor  till  1805,  eleven  years.  Mr.  Brooks  was  ordained  in  1809  and 
served  seven  years.  Mr.  E.  Jayne  succeeded  and  was  ordained  pastor 
.serving  four  years.  Also,  J.  P.  Thompson  and  Rev.  Mr.  Pollard  served  the 
church.  Eliel  Joslin  was  pastor  and  a  bad  man.  He  did  his  utmost 
to  destroy  the  church.  Rev.  I.  M.  Church  came  next.  Mr.  Church 
was  a  man  of  positive  ideas  and  had  opposition;  was  locked  out  of  the 
meeting  house.  Under  his  wise  and  equable  administration,  the 
trouble  ceased  and  those  who  had  warred  on  him,  returned  to  the 
church  and  were  his  best  friends.  Pastor  Church  resigned  in  1841, 
imd  removed  to  Northfield.  In  1810,  Pastor  Brooks  and  some  of  the 
efficient  members  were  dismissed  and  constituted  the  Port  Elizabeth 
church.  Finally  the  West  Creek  church  disbanded  in  1857.  (West 
New  Jersey  Association,  page  9,  item  53;  1857).  But  it  lives  in  its 
progeny;  Millville  first  and  North. 

Port  Elizabeth  to  which  West  Creek  church  gave  life  and  its  life 
was  constituted  in  1810.  The  town  is  on  Maurice  river,  a  short  dis- 
tance below  Millville.     In  West  New  Jersey  Association,  1843,  page  13, 


digest,  the  church  says:  "They  have  united  with  others  to  form  Mill- 
ville  church."  disbanding  in  1843.  An  item  of  interest  is:  that  Deacon 
Wynn,  grandfather  of  Pastor  Wynn  of  finst  church,  Camden,  was  a 
deacon  of  West  Creek  church;  a  constituent  and  deacon  of  Port 
Elizabeth  church;  if  living  when  First  Millville  was  constituted, 
was  constituent  of  that  church.  Deacon  Isaac  Wynn,was  thus  a  deacon 
of  West  Creek,  a  constituent  of  Port  Elizabeth  and  a  deacon  of  the 
church;  a  constituent  and  deacon  of  First  Millville.  He  died  in  1849. 
His  wife  was  Rebecca  Price,  daughter  of  Dr.  Price's  great  grandfather, 
Capt.  William  Price,  a  constituent  of  Pt.  Elizabteh.  Rev.  I.  C.  Wynn 
was  a  grandson  of  Deacon  Isaac  Wynn  of  West  Creek,  Pt.  Elizabeth 
and  Millville. 

In  the  minutes  of  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  Association  for  1837, 
page  2,  item  21,  the  report  of  the  committee  on  the  letters  from  the 
churches  says:  "Relative  to  the  inquiry  of  the  Port  Elizabeth  church, 
Cumberland  county,  as  to  changing  its  name;  '^ There  can  he  no  objection 
to  altering  its  name  to  that  of  Millville  church."  Port  Elizabeth  church 
did  not  alter  its  name,  but  lived  as  it  was  until  December  29th,  1842, 
when  it  disbanded  and  Millville  appeared  in  the  list  of  the  churches 
reporting  to  the  association  in  1843.  On  page  13,  minutes  of  1843, 
digest  of  Port  EUzabeth  saj's:  "That  being  very  small  they  have 
united  with  others  forming  the  Baptist  church  of  Millville.  How 
many  constituents  Millville  had  is  quite  uncertain.  If  fourteen,  ten 
were  from  Port  Elizabeth  and  four  from  Cedarville.  "By  request  of 
Port  Elizabeth  church,  a  council  met  in  a  school  room  in  Millville, 
December  29th,  1842,  to  consider  the  propriety  of  constituting  the 
Baptists  there  as  the  first  Baptist  church  at  Millville." 

Deacon  Isaac  Wynn,  grandfather  of  Rev.  I.  C.  Wynn,  for  years 
pastor  of  the  first  Baptist  church  of  Camden,  "in  behalf  of  Port  Eliza- 
beth church  requested  for  himself  and  twelve  others  to  be  constituted 
into  a  new  church  of  Millville.  This  was  the  action  of  the  Port  Elizabeth 
church,  taken  upon  the  suggestion  of  the  Association  in  1837.  The 
four  members  from  Cedarville  concurred  in  this  action. 

In  June  1843,  Rev.  H.  Wescott  was  called  to  preach  to  the  new 
church  for  six  months.  He  remained  one  year.  Within  this  time  the 
house  of  worship  was  built  and  dedicated.  It  was  a  good  thing  for 
Millville  to  have  had  Mr.  Wescott.  His  family  was  an  "old  family 
and  had  financial  substance.  He  was  followed  by  Ephraim  Sheppard, 
a  brother-in-law,  also  of  an  "old  family"  and  who  had  ample  financial 
resources.  He  settled  as  pastor  in  December  1844.  Mr.  Sheppard 
was  ordained  in  April  1845,  and  remained  until  January  1847.  Rev. 
William  Maul  succeeded  immediately  being  pastor  from  January  1st, 


1847,  to  52.  In  connection  with  Cedarville,  Rev.  J.  Todd  "supplied" 
for  nine  months.  Rev.  William  Smith  ministered  as  pastor  from  1854 
to  58.  J.  Curran  called  for  one  year,  in  1858,  stayed  until  1860.  H.  W. 
Webber  was  pastor  1862-64.  William  Humpstone  was  pastor  1865-67. 
Others  were  D.  H.  Burdock,  1869-70.  The  meeting  house  was  rebuilt 
at  a  large  cost  in  1871.  H.  Wheat  was  pastor  1871-73;  E.  L.  Stager, 
1873-78;  H.  C.  Applegarth,  1878-79.  At  this  time  a  parsonage  was 
built.  C.  A.  Mott,  1880-85.  In  this  term  the  church  edifice  was 
greatly  improved.  H.  G.  James,  1885-87;  E.  B.  Morris,  1888-90; 
G.  H.Button,  1890-95. 

Mr.  Button  baptized  one  hundred  and  sixty-six  in  less  than 'five 
years.  H.  W.  Barrass,  1895-6;  A.  H.  Sembower,  1896-1900.  First 
Millville  has  had  eighteen  pastors.  Two  were  joint  pastors  with 
Cedarville.  One  member  has  been  licensed  to  preach.  In  1896, 
forty-seven  members,  including  the  pastor,  constituted  the  North 
Baptist  church  of  Millville.  The  town  had  grown  to  be  a  large  one 
and  there  was  ample  room  for  a  second  church.  With  the  coming 
of  Pastor  Sembower,  the  old  meeting  house  often  repaired,  gave  place 
to  one  larger  and  better  suited  in  conveniences  and  appliances  to  the 
various  departments  of  church  life  and  work. 

On  the  tenth  day  of  March  1896,  forty-seven  members  of  the 
first  Baptist  church  of  Millville  were  dismissed  to  organize  the  North 
Millville  Baptist  church.  Port  Elizabeth  and  Millville  are  both  on 
the  Maurice  river,  not  far  apart.  Port  Elizabeth  being  south  of  Mill- 
ville. For  the  convenience  of  its  worshippers,  the  church  edifice  of 
the  first  church  was  located  at  the  nearer  access  to  their  homes  in  the 
southern  part  of  the  town,  explaining  why  the  younger  body  is  desig- 
nated, North  Millville.  The  pastor  of  the  first  church  went  with  the 
colony.  Mr.  Barrass  is  now  (1900)  pastor  of  the  North  Millville  Baptist 
church.  Millville  is  grown  to  be  a  large  town  and  there  is  ample  room 
for  the  two  churches  and  for  their  growth  into  influential  bodies.  A 
house  of  worship  was  begun  to  be  l)uilt  immediately  and  was  com- 
pleted and  occupied.  The  concord  and  enterprise  of  Millville  Baptists 
justify  the  assurance  that  the  churches  will  be  a  continuous  blessing 
to  the  community  in  the  Divine  hand  to  accomplish  its  mission  of 
salvation  to  perishing  men. 

Newport  is  in  Cumberland  county.  It  was  an  out  station  of 
Dividing  Creek  church  long  before  the  constitution  of  the  Newport 
Baptist  church.  A  gift  of  ground  for  a  meeting  house  by  Brother 
Seth  Page  in  1854,  led  to  its  erection  in  that  year.  Early  in  1855, 
Rev.  U.  Coffman,  pastor  of  Dividing  Creek  church  began  special 
meetings  in  the  new  house  at  Newport.     Many  converts  were  added  to 


the  church  and  in  March  1855,  fifty-one  were  dismissed  from  Dividing 
Creek  church,  to  establish  a  Baptist  church  at  Newport. 
Rev.  G.  Sleeper  had  aided  Pastor  Coffman  in  his  special 
meetings  and  Mr.  ColTman,  having  died,  Mr.  Sleeper  was 
called  to  be  pastor  of  both  churches.  The  labors  of  Mr.  Sleeper  were 
prosperous,  continuing  four  years.  Rev.  H.  W.  Webber  followed 
from  1859  to  1862.  Scores  were  added  to  the  church  by  baptism. 
His  ministry  was  a  harvest  of  continuous  blessing. 

In  the  third  year,  however,  of  his  pastoral  care,  Mr.  Webber 
limited  himself  to  Newport  as  pastor.  Again,  under  the  pastorate  of 
Rev.  B.  Jones,  the  churches  united  under  one  pastor.  The  Civil  War 
was  in  progress  and  the  thoughts  of  the  people  were  absorj^ed  in  the 
national  strife.  Pastor  Jones  resigned  at  the  end  of  the  year.  A 
vacancy  in  the  pastorate  occurred  for  two  years.  Rev.  L.  W.  Wheeler 
was  called  and  began  his  charge  of  both  churches  in  May  1866,  resigning 
in  1869.  Other  pastors  were,  J.  H.  Hyatt,  1869;  D.  M.  Young,  ordained 
1871.  H.  B.  Raybold,  1874-76,  to  both  churches,  afterward  only  to 
Dividing  Creek.  1876,  W.  A.  Durfee  held  a  joint  pastorate  of  Newport 
and  Cedarville.  but  continued  at  Newport  until  1878.  M.  M.  Finch, 
1879-84,  pastor  of  Dividing  Creek  and  Newport.  W.  Cattell  at  both 
churches,  1884-86;  Newport  in  1889  called  F.  S.  S.  Boothe  and  he 
was  ordained  in  February  1890.  Within  some  time,  a  parsonage  had 
been  bought  at  Newport  and  that  church  was  less  dependent  upon 
Dividing  Creek.  Mr.  Boothe  closed  his  pastorate  in  March  1891.  A. 
Cauldwell,  1892;  Mr.  Paul  Weithass  who  was  ordained  1893-95;  G.  I. 
Meredith,  1895-1900;  C.  F.  Hahn  then  settled.  There  have  been 
fifteen  pastors.  Eight  have  been  joint  pastors  with  Dividing  Creek 
or  other  nearby  churches.  It  is  doubtful  if  the  increase  of  weak  churches 
is  wise.  With  a  Sunday  school,  devotional  meetings  and  the  maternal 
care  of  the  mother  church  of  its  stations,  it  is  judged  that  the  Kingdom 
of  God  would  be  enlarged  more  rapidly. 

Many  Baptists  lived  at  and  near  Port  Norris,  long  before  a  Baptist 
church  was  formed  there.  For  years  a  Sunday  school  house  had  been 
maintained  by  them  in  a  village  near  to  where  Port  Norris  sprang  up. 
A  building  for  the  Sunday  school  had  been  built  and  was  dedicated 
to  religious  uses  on  January  1st,  1857,  twenty-four  years  before  a 
Baptist  church  was  constituted.  Soon  after,  Rev.  George  Sleeper, 
pastor  of  Dividing  Creek  Baptist  church  held  a  series  of  meetings  in 
the  house  at  Port  Norris  and  many  converts  were  baptized  into  the 
church  of  which  he  was  pastor.     Deacon  Richard  Robbins  of  Dividing 


Creek  church  was  for  the  first  seven  years  superintendent.  Deacon 
George  Robbins,  said  to  have  been  an  "emergency  man,"  was  twice 
later  superintendent. 

A  house  of  worship  became  a  neccessity.  One  was  built.  Soon 
after  its  completion  it  was  destroyed  by  fire.  Within  three  years  of 
the  beginning  of  the  first,  another  was  dedicated  as  the  former  had 
l)een,  free  of  debt.  The  Bible  was  the  only  lesson  book  in  the  Sunday 
School  and  the  "Pralmist"  used  in  the  church  service,  the  only  hymn 
book  Dividing  Creek  church  pastors  often  preached  in  the  church 
houses  of  worship  at  Port  Norris  and  weekly  social  meetings  were  held 
there.  Port  Norris  Baptist  church  was  constituted  with  sixty-three 
members  dismissed  from  Dividing  Creek  church  in  April  1881.  The 
succession  of  pastors  has  been,  M.  M.  Finch,  1881-83;  A.  W.  H.  Hodder, 
1883-84;  L.  G.  Appleby,  1885-86;  J.  M.  Scott,  1887-88;  A.  B.  McCurdy, 
1888-89;  C.  F.  Hahn,  1890-91;  W.  H.  Humphries,  1891-94;  C.  P.  P. 
Fox,  1894-97;  W.  W.  Bullock,  1897-1900. 

Mr.  Hodder  was  a  student  and  returned  to  his  studies  at  the  end 
of  a  year.  Mr.  Appleby's  pastorate  was  signalized  by  a  special  work 
of  grace  and  an  addition  by  baptism  of  nearly  three  score  converts. 
His  resignation  was  accepted  despite  the  choice  of  the  church  for  him 
to  remain.  In  the  interval  of  the  pastorates  of  Mr.  Scott  and  of  Mr. 
McCurdy,  a  parsonage  was  built  and  the  meeting  house  improved. 
In  the  charge  of  Mr.  Humphries,  the  debt  incurred  for  the  parsonage 
was  paid  and  many  were  baptized.  While  Mr.  Fox  was  pastor,  the 
meeting  house  was  virtually  rebuilt.  Pastor  Bullock  has  had  prosperity 
in  all  church  lines  of  work  and  life.  Port  Norris  has  had  nine  pastors. 
Three  houses  of  worship  have  been  in  use,  two  of  which  were  burned. 
The  courage  of  the  people  and  their  readiness  to  respond  to  the  needs 
of  the  cause  of  God  is  shown  in  the  building  of  their  church  edifice  and 
the  parsonage  and  paying  them  promptly. 



The  original  name  of  Pemberton  from  1690  to  1752  was  "Hampton 
ILanover."  The  second  name  was  "New  Mills."  The  change  to  the 
second  name  was  due  to  the  building  of  new  mills  at  the  place  in  dis- 
tinction from  older  mills  on  "Budd's  Run."  opposite  to  the  site  of 
Pemberton.  At  the  incorporation  of  the  town  in  1826  it  was  named 
Pemberton,  in  memory  of  a  citizen,  Mr.  James  Pemberton.  In  1837, 
the  old  records  of  the  church  were  destroyed  by  the  burning  of  a  building 
in  which  they  were. 

Morgan  Edwards  wrote  an  account  of  the  first  things  and  says: 
"The  house  measures  30x30,  built  in  1752  on  a  lot  of  about  two  acres, 
the  gift  of  Richard  Woolston.  His  deed  bears  date  of  April  6th,  1752. 
In  one  corner  of  the  house  is  the  pulpit,  in  the  opposite  angles  are 
the  galleries,  which  relieves  the  conveniences  of  galleries  in  small  places 
of  worship;  it  is  finished  as  usual  in  this  country  and  accommodated 
with  a  stove.  No  temporality;  nor  many  rich,  for  which  reason  the 
salary  cannot  be  above  twenty  pounds  a  year.  *  *  *  The  church 
is  in  a  widowed  state,  but  has  been  pretty  well  supplied  from  Hights- 
town,  Upper  Freehold  etc.  The  families  to  which  this  meeting  house 
is  central  are  about  eighty,  whereof  one  hundred  persons  are  baptized 
and  in  the  communion,  here  administered  once  a  quarter,  the  above 
is  the  present  state  of  New  Mills,  October  24th,  1789.     History." 

This  church  originated  about  the  year  1750.  One  Francis  Briggs 
of  Salem  (Mr.  Briggs  was  a  member  of  Cohansie)  settled  at  New  Mills 
and  invited  Baptist  ministers  to  preach  at  his  house.  The  consequence 
was,  that  some  were  converted  and  baptized;  namely,  John  and 
Elizabeth,  Estelle  and  Rachel  Briggs.  This  raised  the  expectations 
that  there  might  be  a  church  at  New  Mills,  in  hope  of  which  they  built 
a  meeting  house  and  applied  to  the  Association  (Philadelphia)  for 
ministerial  helps.     During  these  visits  others    were  baptized. 

In  the  year  1763,  Rev.  P.  P.  Van  Horn  arrived  from  Pennepek 
with  his  wife  and  family,  which  increased  the  number  of  Baptists  to 
ten  and  made  them  wish  to  have  communion  of  saints  among  them. 
Accordingly,  they  were  formed  into  a  church,  June  23rd,  1764.  Mr. 
Briggs  was  the  kind  of  Baptist,  those  Baptists  were,  who  made  us  what 
we  are  as  a  denomination.     They  believed  in  Gospel  order  and  wanted 


that  and  only  that,  nor  did  they  hide  their  convictions  of  truth  and 
duty.  Baptists  are  what  they  are  numerically  and  in  influence,  be- 
cause knowing  their  mission  they  had  the  grace  and  courage  to  main- 
tain it.  Stalwart  pastors  and  stalwart  preaching  made  stalwart  Baptists 
whether  men  or  women.  Baptists  as  much  alone  as  if  they  had  compan- 
ionship of  their  faith,  answering  to  Paul's  description,  "living  Epistles," 
walking  Bibles  that  "wliose  light  cannot  be  hid."  There  is  no  estimate 
of  what  one  person  can  accomplish,  having  a  purpose  to  be  only  and 
always  on  the  side  of  God  and  His  will.  Even  though  they  numbered 
only  ten  disciples,  they  constituted  a  Baptist  church  having  all  the 
distinctiveness  which  a  Baptist  church  means  in  the  midst  of  the 
vagaries  of  error.  Ten  of  such  would  have  saved  Sodom.  Mr.  Briggs 
did  not  live  to  see  a  church  organized.     He  died  in  1763. 

Rev.  P.  P.  Van  Horn  was  a  constituent  of  the  church  and  its  first 
pastor,  retaining  his  charge  for  five  years,  and  then  returned  to  Penn- 
sylvania. He  had  a  useful  pastorate,  the  church  increasing  from  ten 
to  forty-two  members.  When  it  is  recalled  how  sparse  the  population 
was,  the  increase  is  significant  of  an  efficient  pastoral  oversight.  Three 
years  went  by  ere  Rev.  D.  Brandon  settled  as  pastor.  He  was  or- 
dained in  December  1770.  Morgan  Edwards  states  that,  "In  1772, 
a  grevious  disturbance  took  place  which  caused  one  party  to  exclude 
the  other  and  they  continued  in  this  situation  till  September  22nd, 
1778."  Mr.  Branson  was  excluded  in  June  1772.  As  Mr.  Branson 
claimed  to  be  a  Baptist  minister  in  good  standing,  the  Association 
in  1781,  warned  the  public  against  him.  When  this  trouble  was 
settled,  prosperity  returned  and  the  church  increased  in  twenty-five 
years    to    one    hundred    members. 

In  March,  1781,  David  Loughborough  was  ordained  for  the 
pastorate.  He  continued  till  April  1782.  People  are  much  the  same 
in  various  periods.  Mr.  Loughbridge  had  married  a  lady  of  the  con- 
gregation and  some  dissented  to  his  choice.  For  sixteen  years  there 
was  a  vacant  pulpit.  That  memoralile  man,  Peter  Wilson,  pastor  at 
Hightstown.  supplied  the  pulpit  for  six  or  eight  years  of  this  time,  as 
often  as  so  busy  a  man  and  one  in  great  demand  could.  As  ever  and 
everywhere  in  his  ministry  Mr.  Wilson  gathered  many  converts  into 
the  church.  From  1789  to  1793,  Rev.  Joseph  Stevens  supplied  both 
Pemberton  and  Upper  Freehold  churches  and  from  1793  -1798  two 
licentiates  of  Pemberton,  Benjamin  Hedger  and  Isaac  Carlisle  were 
ordained  at  New  Mills  and  ministered  till  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  Mr. 
Magowan.  This  was  not  a  period  of  destitution  nor  of  barrenness. 
In  each  year  with  only  one  exception  there  were  additions  by  baptism, 
in  all  one  hundred  and  ten.      Of  these,  Mr.  Wilson  baptized  fifty-five. 


wliilc  supplying  Pemberton.  Alexander  Magowan  was  much  the 
same  stamp  of  man  as  Mr.  Wilson,  who  had  baptized  him  into  the 
Hightstown  church,  Mr.  Magowan  being  a  Presbyterian  minister. 
(See  Hightstown  history  for  account  of  Mr.  Magowan's  becoming  a 
Baptist.)  Hightstown  church  licensed  Mr.  Magowan  and  he  became 
a  Baptist  minister.  Mr.  Magowan  was  pastor  at  Pemberton  from 
1798  to  1806.  In  that  time  he  baptized  one  hundred  and  sixteen. 
Part  of  this  time  he  alternated  between  Pemberton  and  Mount  Holly. 

In  1794,  the  trustees  of  Pemberton  held  for  Burlington  Baptists 
the  old  "Friends"  meeting  house  in  Burlington.  Mr.  Magowan  preach- 
ed at  Burlington  and  at  Mount  Holly.  Pemberton  church  must  have 
had  men  of  substance,  who  cared  for  neighboring  localities.  A  house 
of  worship  was  built  at  Mount  Holly  in  1800.  Mr.  Magowan  was  a 
man  of  superior  ability  and  of  great  activity  in  mission  work.  It  has 
been  said  of  him:  "that  he  was  devoted  and  earnest  and  stood  staunch- 
ly for  the  faith  once  delivered  to  the  Saints,"  In  the  minutes  of  the 
New  Jersey  Association  of  1815,  page  7,  in  a  prefix  written  by  the 
clerk  for  the  corresponding  letter  of  the  Association,  it  is  said;  that 
in  1814,  Mr.  Magowan  was  appointed  to  write  the  corresponding  letter. 
Unwilling  to  leave  the  duty  unaccomplished,  he  wrote  the  letter  and 
left  it  with  a  brother  to  be  presented  for  him,  having  decided  to  go  to 
Ohio  before  the  next  session  of  the  Association.  "About  one  hundred 
miles  from  his  destination,  the  wagon  was  overturned  and  Mr.  Magowan 
fatally  injured  and  died  a  few  hours  after,  leaving  his  widow  and  four 
children  in  the  wilderness."  Though  dead,  his  appointment  was  kept. 
While  pastor  at  Pemberton  in  1801 ,  a  colony  was  dismissed  to  constitute 
a  Baptist  church  in  Mount  Holly,  where  from  1795,  three  years  before 
becoming  pastor  at  Pemberton,  he  sustained  the  mission  at  Mount 
Holly,  which  Peter  Wilson  of  Hightstown  had  begun  there. 

In  1794,  Mr.  Carlisle  is  named  in  the  minutes  of  the  Philadelphia 
Association  as  a  hcentiate  of  Pemberton  church.  He  is  published  as 
ordained  in  1805.  For  five  years,  from  1796,  he  was  a  delegate  to  that 
Association  from  the  first  Baptist  church  of  Philadelphia.  But, 
according  to  the  minutes  of  the  New  Jersey  Association,  Mr.  Carlisle 
was  at  Pemberton  from  1811  to  1814.  A  statement  in  some  records 
that  Mr.  Carlisle  died  in  February,  1815  is  a  mistake.  He  was  a 
delegate  to  New  Jersey  Association  in  September  1815.  Rev.  I. 
Stratton  followed  at  Pemberton  and  was  ordained  in  February  1814. 
But  death  cut  short  his  ministry  on  June  7th,  1816.  Mr.  Stratton 
was  highly  e.steemed  and  bright  hopes  were  blighted  by  his  death. 

In  1810,  Rev.  John  Rogers  settled  as  pastor.  He  was  the  son 
of  John  Rogers  and  was  a  native  of  North  Ireland.     A  descendant  of 


the  martyr  John  Rogers,  and  inherited  the  stamina  of  character  and 
conscientious  conviction  of  his  great  ancestor.  AlUed  in  family  and 
in  training  with  the  Presbyterian  church,  he  was  pastor  of  a  staiuich 
Presbyterian  churcli  in  his  native  town,  amid  kindred  and  loved  ones 
and  there  in  the  midst  of  these  tremendous  influences,  the  martyr, 
John  Rogers,  lived  anew;  the  stake  of  contempt  and  the  cross  of  sac- 
rifice in  the  surrender  of  his  old  convictions  and  of  his  family  and 
dearest  friends  was  the  cost  of  becoming  a  Baptist.  He  told  his  church 
of  his  change  of  views  and  they  trusted  him  and  provided  exchanges 
for  him  on  ordinance  days.  Some  members  of  his  church  became 
Baptists.  Others  accused  him  of  sowing  discord.  Then  he  resigned 
and  came  to  America. 

At  a  meeting  of  a  Baptist  Association,  he  met  a  delegation  of  the 
Pemberton  church  looking  for  a  pastor.  He  was  invited  to  visit  Pem- 
berton  and  began  his  ministry  in  America  there.  When  twelve  years 
had  passed,  Scotch  Plains  church  coveted  his  labors  as  pastor.  In 
the  record  of  that  body,  an  account  of  his  usefulness  appears.  Com- 
paratively few  have  been  more  beloved  than  John  Rogers.  Every 
good  cause  had  a  place  in  his  heart.  The  antinomian  element,  when 
he  met  it  was  remoulded  into  earnest,  active  Christian  life.  State 
Missions,  Home  Missions,  Foreign  Missions  and  any  instrumentality 
to  save  the  lost  and  build  up  the  Kingdom  of  God,  had  in  him  a  helper. 
At  the  close  of  his  ministry  in  Pemberton,  for  about  two  years  a  licen- 
tiate of  the  church,  Mr.  Samuel  Harvey  "supplied"  the  church  till  Mr. 
C.  W.  Mulford  accepted  its  call  and  Mr.  Mulford  was  ordained  to  be  its 
pastor  in  November  27th,  1830  to  1835. 

The  church  seems  to  have  had  a  choice  of  pastors  of  the  first 
Baptist  church  in  Philadelphia.  Rev.  Henry  Holcombe,  the  foremost 
man  of  his  day  preached  at  the  ordination  of  Mr.  Stratton  and  Rev. 
W.  T.  Brantly,  Sr.,  preached  at  that  of  Mr.  Mulford.  Mr.  Mulford 
was  unlike  Mr.  Rogers,  both  as  a  preacher  and  in  social  life.  Mr. 
Rogers  was  an  undemonstrative,  educated  and  of  high  toned  Cal- 
vinistic  views,  and  in  social  life,  unassuming  and  retiring.  One  was 
sure  of  being  on  the  right  side  if  agreeing  with  him.  Mr.  Mulford 
was  young,  had  the  wisdom  of  youth;  if  in  riding  he  did  not  "hold  the 
lines,"  he  was  beside  the  driver  and  advised  as  to  the  best  road.  His 
preaching  was  Calvinistic  and  earnest,  impressing  his  hearers  that  he 
believed  what  he  said  and  that  they  must  believe  it  and  now.  Mr. 
Mulford  closed  his  pastorate  at  Pemberton  after  five  years,  having 
had  a  happj'  and  useful  service.  Under  his  ministr}-,  one  hundred 
and  seventy  three  were  added  to  the  church  by  baptism. 

Mr.  Mulford  was  always  and  everywhere,  "at  the  front"  on  the 


temperance  question.  Whatever  their  social,  pohtical  or  religious 
relations  and  alliances  of  opponents,  made  to  him  any  difference.  Mr. 
Mulford  was  the  compeer  of  Samuel  Aaron  in  the  intensity  of  his  zeal 
for  total  abstinence  from  intoxicants.  Good  people  of  all  denominations 
were  agreed  in  the  advocacy  of  temperance,  as  they  have  not  been 
since.  Political  parties  had  great  respect  to  the  temperance  element 
in  their  nominations  for  office  in  New  Jersey.  Mr.  Mulford  was  laid 
aside  in  the  vigor  of  his  years  by  a  bronchial  affection,  with  which 
he  died,  only  fifty-nine  years  old.  While  pastor  at  Pemberton,  Vincent- 
towii  church  was  constituted  in  1834. 

Rev.  Timothy  Jackson  was  pastor  for  two  years,  from  1836  and 
had  a  harvest  of  converts  in  his  charge.  Rev.  J.  G.  Collom  settled  as 
pastor  in  July  1839,  remaining  till  March  1846.  While  pastor,  the 
house  of  worship  "on  the  hill"  was  an  inconvenience  on  account  of 
its  distance  from  the  village,  but  Deacon  Swain  giving  a  lot  in  town, 
a  chapel  was  built  on  it  for  social  meetings  and  other  uses.  Three 
members  were  licensed  to  preach  in  Mr.  Collom's  charge.  Mr.  Collom 
having  removed.  Rev.  D.  S.  Parmelle  entered  the  pastorate  in  July, 
1846,  continuing  till  June  1851,  and  was  imbedded  in  the  affections 
of  his  people. 

After  Mr.  Parmelee,  Rev.  L.  C.  Stevens  settled  for  a  few  months, 
remo-v^ing  on  account  of  the  health  of  Mrs.  Stevens,  who  died  within 
a  short  time.  On  February  17th,  1853,  Mr.  S.  M.  Shute  was  ordained 
but  in  1856,  accepted  a  call  to  Alexandria,  Va.  A  parsonage  was 
bought  in  the  first  year  of  his  coming.  The  same  year  in  which  Mr. 
Shute  removed.  Rev.  Thomas  Goodwin  became  pastor,  holding  the 
office  till  June  1859.  The  pastoral  office  was  occupied  by  Rev.  L.  G. 
Beck  on  September  1st,  1859,  was  held  by  him  until  July  1864.  Meas- 
ures had  been  taken  in  1860,  to  build  a  church  edifice  in  a  more  central 
place  which  being  completed,  was  dedicated  in  September  1861.  The 
entire  outlay  for  grounds,  sheds  and  house  of  worship  was  paid  on  the 
completion  of  the  meeting  house.  Mr.  Beck's  settlement  at  Pem- 
berton proved  wise.  The  centennial  year  1864,  occurred  while  he 
was  pastor. 

Comparatively  few  men  have  the  gift  and  the  patience  to  gather 
the  facts  of  an  hundred  years,  sifting  tradition  from  fact,  discriminate 
and  adjust  the  real  from  the  unreal,  in  the  memories  of  the  aged  and 
so  compile  historical  details,  that  they  commend  themselves  to  us, 
as  substantially  true.  Since  the  early  statements  of  Morgan  Edwards, 
fire  having  destroyed  the  church  records,  we  owe  to  the  research, 
intelligence  and  patience  of  Pastor  Beck,  another  token  of  the  Provi- 
dence of  his  pastorate.     The  meeting  house  had  been  built  on  a  lot 


distant  from  the  central  part  of  the  town.  The  Pcmberton  church 
had  Uved  and  suffered  this  disadvantage  for  an  hundred  years,  till 
now,  when  through  Mr.  Beck,  a  spacious  house  of  worship  was  located 
in  the  centre  of  the  town. 

A  pastor  ought  not  to  be  judged  by  the  numbers  added  to  the 
church  or  by  the  large  congregations  waiting  on  his  ministry.  The 
better  evidence  of  his  usefullness  is  putting  the  church  into  a  position 
of  influence  and  equipping  it  with  power  to  wield  for  God  and  humanity, 
making  it  a  channel  of  blessing  and  salvation  for  all  time.  Mr.  Beck 
was  followed  by  Rev.  J.  H.  Parks  for  about  four  years  and  Mr.  Parks 
by  Rev.  J.  W.  Wilmarth  who  was  pastor  eight  years. 

In  September  1878,  Rev.  J.  C.  Buchanan  entered  the  pastorate 
and  is  now  (1900)  pastor,  already  more  than  twenty-two  years.  Mr. 
Buchanan's  pastorate  in  duration  at  Pemberton  is  exceptional.  Pastor 
Rogers  alone  approaches  it.  The  church  has  had  twenty-two  pastors, 
including  Mr.  Wilson's  ministry  of  six  or  eight  years  and  the  two  j'cars 
in  which  one  of  its  licentiates  preached.  Several  houses  of  worship 
have  been  built  or  provided.  One,  the  old  "Friends"  meeting  house 
at  Burlington,  which  may  have  been  bought  by  the  generous  aid  of 
Pemberton  church  in  1794,  the  property  being  held  by  the  trustees 
of  Pemberton  church  for  the  uses  of  Burlington  Baptists.  In  about 
1800,  a  house  was  built  for  the  mission  at  Mount  Holly. 

A  meeting  house  was  built  at  Vincentown  and  another  at  Columbus 
under  the  pastorate  of  Mr.  C.  W.  MuKord.  These  were  four  church 
edifices.  For  itself,  a  meeting  house  was  built  in  1752  and  afterwards 
moved  and  remodelled  into  a  parsonage,  which  was  burned  in  1837. 
In  1823,  a  house  of  worship  was  built  to  take  the  place  of  that  erected 
in  1752.  For  the  convenience  of  the  village,  a  chapel  was  put  up  in 
town  for  Sunda)'  school  and  social  meeting  uses.  A  house  of  worsliip 
was  built  in  Pemberton  in  1860-1.  Thus,  besides  four  outside  missions, 
four  other  places  of  worship  were  built  for  itself  at  home.  In  all,  eight 
sanctuaries;  additional  to  these,  two  parsonages  were  erected.  At 
least  nine  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach,  one  of  whom,  has 
been  pastor  of  the  church  and  others  "supplies"  when  Pemberton 
has  been  destitute  of  a  pastor  and  efficient  in  sustaining  mission 

Two  sons  of  Deacon  Swain,  Samuel  and  Thomas,  have  filled  high 
positions  in  New  Jersey  and  abroad.  Job  Gaskill  also,  was  an  eminent- 
ly useful  man.  His  private  means  enabled  him  to  serve  young  and 
feeble  churches,  unable  to  sustain  a  pastor.  These  and  others  unnamed, 
reflected  credit  on  the  pastors  who  had  developed  their  gifts  and 
upon  the  church    that    had    sent   them  out.      Pemberton   has  been 


a  fruitful  church.  Its  pastors  preached  in  Burlington.  Mount 
Holly  waa  its  mission.  So  too,  Vincentown  and  Columbus. 
From  twenty  to  forty  churches  may  claim  its  ancestry. 
Fifty-two  members  were  dismissed  to  form  Mount  Holly  church  in 
1801,  twenty-nine  to  constitute  Vincentown  church  and  nineteen 
to  establish   Columbus  church. 

The  antecedent  record  of  the  pastors  of  Pembcrton  is  of  intense 
interest.  Mr.  Van  Horn  was  a  Lutheran,  but  the  New  Testament 
set  him  free  and  made  him  a  Baptist.  Mr.  Stephens  was  an  Episco- 
palian, but  the  Scriptures  made  him  a  Baptist.  Benjamin  Hedger, 
a  licentiate,  was  a  Presbyterian;  the  Gospel  turned  his  feet  into  a 
Baptist  church.  Mr.  Magowan  was  pastor  of  a  Presbyterian  church 
and  by  Bible  study  was  led  into  truth  and  into  a  Baptist  church. 
John  Rogers,  like  to  Mr.  Magowan,  was  a  native  of  Ireland,  was  trained 
in  their  schools  for  the  ministry  and  pastor  of  a  Presbyterian  church, 
of  which  his  father  had  been  pastor  and  living  in  his  native  place,  amid 
his  kindred,  his  ideas  of  the  church  and  of  the  ordinances  were  changed, 
by  the  "Baptist  chapters,"  as  the  Methodist  minister  said,  and  he 
united  with  a  Baptist  church.  D.  S.  Parmelee  was  a  Congregationalist. 
The  Bible  led  him  to  ask  his  pastor  to  "bury  him  in  baptism."  His 
prejudice  against  "close  communion"  led  him  to  join  a  congregational 
church.  Further  study  of  the  Divine  Word  convinced  him  that  the 
Baptists  were  as  scripturally  right  on  the  communion  question  as  on 
baptism  and  he  joined  a  Baptist  church.  While  at  Pemberton  he 
published  a  small  volume  on  "Positive  Law;  its  Distinction  From  Moral 
Law."  Mr.  Goodwin  had  been  an  Episcopalean,  but  the  Scriptures 
made  him  a  Baptist. 

The  pastors  were  about  equally  useful  in  winning  converts  and  in 
promoting  the  general  welfare  of  the  church.  Its  membership  had 
spiritual  vitality.  Life  was  not  derived  from  the  pastors  or  from  his 
methods.  Thus  when  he  removed  he  did  not  take  with  him,  that 
which  had  made  his  ministry  a  blessing,  nor  when  a  new  pastor  came, 
the  same  source  of  blessing  was  in.  the  church  to  make  his  oversight 
successful.  With  the  single  exception  of  a  bad  man,  who  imposed 
himself  on  the  church,  the  pastors  have  been  men  of  peace.  Nine 
hundred  and  fifty-eight  have  been  baptized  into  the  church  up  to 

Few  changes  in  the  economy  of  our  churches  have  been  so  marked 
as  that  concerning  women.  At  the  session  of  the  West  New  Jersey 
Association,  a  report  on  the  woman  question  in  reply  to  the  query: 
"Ought  women  delegates  be  admitted  to  be  members  of  the  Asso- 
ciation?"   (Minutes  of  1877,  page  23,   item  55.)     Why  this  matter 


is  alluded  to,  in  connection  with  Pemberton  is:  that  Rev.  J.  W. 
Wilmarth  waa  chairman  of  the  committee  to  which  the  matter  was 
referred  and  also  was  pastor  of  the  Pemberton  church  at  that  time. 
In  1878,  page  20,  is  the  report  of  the  committee  and  action  on  it,  was 
deferred  to  the  next  year.  Report:  "We  answer  in  the  negative  for 
the  following  reasons:"  I.  Such  a  practice  is  inconsistent  with  the 
plain  teachings  of  the  New  Testament.  II.  Such  a  practice  is  contrary 
to  the  universal  belief  and  practice  of  the  church.  III.  Such  a  custom 
is  contrary  to  Baptist  usage.  IV.  Such  a  practice  would  have  a  dan- 
gerous tendency.  V.  Such  an  innovation  would  be  an  act  of  injustice 
to  our  female  members.  VI.  Such  a  change  would  entail  serious 
practical  inconveniences.  VII.  Finally,  we  can  discover  no  good  to 
be  accomplished  by  the  proposed  change."  All  of  which  was  main- 
tained in  six  closely  printed  pages.  It  is  due  to  the  Association  that 
the  resolutions  of  the  committee,  in  perfect  accord  with  the  seven  above 
mentioned  points,  were  never  after  heard  of  and  next  year,  1879, 
women  delegates  were  enrolled.  In  1900,  of  one  hundred  and  fifteen 
delegates,  fifty-five  were  women.  It  is  also  due  to  the  women  to  say 
that  no  such  trouble  has  ever  appeared  as  the  committee  conjured  up 
and  warned  us  of. 

Contrasted  with  this  report,  was  the  action  of  the  Philadelphia 
Association  in  1746,  page  53.  (A.  B.  Publishing  Society,  Edition 
1746,  page  53.)  The  question  then  was:  whether  women  may  or  ought 
to  have  their  votes  in  the  church,  in  such  matters  as  the  church  shall 
agree  to  be  decided  by  votes?  They  answer:  "Alluding  to  I  Cor.  14:34, 
35  vs.  and  other  parallel  texts,  they  add:  "If  then  the  silence  enjoined 
on  women  be  taken  so  absolute  as  they  must  keep  entire  silence  in 
all  respects,  whatever;  yet  notwithstanding,  it  is  to  be  hoped,  they  may 
have  as  members  of  the  body  of  the  church  liberty  to  give  a  mute 
voice  by  standing  or  lifting  up  of  the  hands — (vote)  *  *  *  But, 
with  the  consent  of  authors  *  *  *  such  absolute  silence  in  all 
respects  cannot  be  intended,  for,  if  so,  how  shall  a  woman  make  con- 
fession of  her  faith,  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  whole  church  as  she  is 
bound  to  do?  How  shall  a  woman  do,  if  she  be  an  evidence  to  a 
matter  of  fact?  Again,  how  shall  a  woman  defend  herself  if  wrong- 
fully accused,  if  she  may  not  speak?  How  shall  a  woman  offended 
*  *  *  tell  the  church  as  she  is  bound  to  do  (Matt.  18:17)?  There- 
fore, there  must  be  times  and  ways  in  and  by  which  women  may  dis- 
charge their  conscience  and  duty  toward  God  and  men."  Evidently, 
the  men  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  years  ago,  had  good  common  sense 

from  whom  the  twentieth  century  men  might  learn  something.     ThesQ 


old  time  men  believed  in  a  woman  having  a  word  to  say  in  things 
of  public  interest. 

Pemberton  has  its  share  of  rural  experiences,  nevertheless,  being 
a  railroad  town,  and  the  vicinities  of  the  two  great  cities  of  the  nation, 
make  it  a  center  of  value  and  the  lands  about  it  attractive  to  a  home 

Authorities  insist  that  a  Baptist  church  was  planted  in  Burlington 
at  an  early  date.  The  minutes  of  the  Pennepek  church,  Pa.,  indicate 
that  a  Baptist  church  was  founded  there  in  1689.  Morgan  Edwards 
states:  that  Elias  Keach,  pastor  of  Penepak  church,  established  a 
Baptist  church  there  in  1690.  That  year  Mr.  Keach  was  invited  by 
Obadiah  Holmes,  Jr. — a  licentiate — to  visit  Cohansie  and  Baptist  con- 
verts gathered  there  by  Mr.  Holmes,  Jr.  Mr.  Keach  baptised  those 
converts.  If  he  returned  home  via  Burlington,  N.  J.  as  the  year  inti- 
mates, he  effected  two  important  matters,  establishing  churches  in 
Cohansie  and  in  Burlington.  It  is  agreed  that  the  church  in  Burling- 
ton disbanded  in  1699  and  the  members  joined  Penepak  church. 

Burlington  was  settled  early  by  the  "Friends"  (Quakers)  in  1667. 
and  in  1690,  was  a  populous  town.  These  doings  of  more  than  two 
hundred  years  since,  show  that  Baptists  then  as  now,  had  faith  in  God 
and  were  aggressive  to  make  known  their  convictions  of  Bible  teaching. 
All  in  America  endorse  "civil  and  religious  liberty,"  but  all  do  not 
know  that  it  cost  Baptists  persecution  and  their  lives  to  win  it  for 

Tradition  has  it,  that  indomitable  and  ever  memorable  Peter 
Wilson,  pastor  at  Hightstown,  visited  Burlington  in  1790,  holding 
meetings  there.  He  was  accompanied  by  two  licentiates  of  Pemberton, 
Benjamin  Hedger  and  I  C.  Carlisle.  These  preached  until  1798. 
Alexander  Magowan  became  pastor  at  Pemberton  in  1798  and  he 
with  Messrs.  Hedger  and  Carlisle  preached  till  the  constitution  of  the 
church  in  1801.  AATien  six  members  of  Pemberton,  six  of  Jacobstown, 
and  two  from  Philadelphia,  in  all,  fourteen  constituted  the  first  Baptist 
church  of  Burlington.  Among  the  six  from  Jacobstown  were  W.  H. 
Staughton  and  wife.  Mr.  Staughton  had  been  a  member  of  the  Bir- 
mingham Baptist  church,  England,  and  had  been  excluded  for  adultery, 
in  marrying  the  divorced  wife  of  a  man  still  living,  the  divorce  being 
for  other  than  scriptural  cause.  (Matt.  19:9;  5:32  and  Luke  16:18). 
When  excluded,  Mr.  Staughton  fled  to  America.  (See  "Whole  Truth," 
pages  19-20.  Letters  of  Dr.  Furman  and  of  Andrew  Fuller  of  Kettering) 
Staughton  later  became  pastor,  the  first  pastor  at  Burlington.  Mr. 
Staughton  in  coming  North,  finally  located  at  Bordentown,  then  a 
small  village  where  Mr.  Allison,  pastor  at  Jacobstown  Baptist  church. 


lived  and  had  a  prosperous  school  of  students  from  every  colony  in  the 
United  States  and  from  Spain,  France,  West  Indies  and  South  America. 
This  school,  he  committed  to  Mr.  Staughton,  which  proved  unwise, 
since  it  declined  under  the  new  management. 

In  1801,  the  Burlington  church  called  Mr.  Staughton  to  be  pastor. 
A  call  in  1805,  to  be  pastor  of  the  first  church,  Philadelphia  was  accepted 
and  Mr.  Staughton  removed  to  Philadelphia.  He  resigned  his  charge 
in  five  or  six  years. 

The  Burlington  church  adopted  a  habit  of  their  times  and  looked 
for  a  pastor  among  their  members  and  licensed  Mr.  William  Boswell 
and  called  him  to  be  a  "permanent  supply."  His  labors  continued 
till  1809,  when  their  limited  financial  resources  necessitated  a  union  with 
Mount  Holly.  Under  the  arrangement,  Rev.  J.  McLaughlin  moved  to 
Burlington,  preaching  in  the  morning  at  Mount  Holly  and  in  the  after- 
noon and  evening  at  Burlington.  At  the  end  of  the  year,  Pastor 
McLaughlin  decided  that  the  field  was  too  large  and  limited  himself 
to  Burlington  until  1811,  when  he  removed.  Rev.  Burgess  Allison 
followed  Mr.  McLaughlin.  A  man  so  learned,  intelligent  and  good 
had  an  almost  unbounded  influence  in  the  town.  The  church  was 
renewed  and  in  the  four  years  of  his  stay  was  very  efficient.  His 
resignation  was  reluctantly  accepted.  Several  months  passed  and 
the  Rev.  J.  E.  Welsh  was  engaged  to  supply  the  church  whenever 
convenient.  This  was  in  1816.  New  life  appeared  at  once.  The 
church  edifice  was  repaired  and  made  attractive.  Crowds  met,  a 
revival  broke  out  and  numbers  were  baptized.  Every  effort  was  made 
to  retain  Mr.  Welsh,  but  his  face  was  set  westward;  associated  with 
Rev.  J.  M.  Peck,  the  Tri-ennial  convention  sent  them  to  the  Indians 
in  Missouri  near  to  St.  Louis. 

Rev.  Peter  Wilson  was  called  as  a  supply  for  one  year.  The 
immense  labors  of  Mr.  Wilson  as  pastor  at  Hightstown  for  thirty-five 
years  had  impaired  his  vital  force  and  now  nearly  seventy  years  old, 
was  compelled  to  resign.  Mr.  J.  H.  Kennard,  a  licentiate  of  Wilming- 
ton, Del.,  supplied  the  church  for  a  year  and  in  1820,  was  ordained 
for  pastoral  duties. 

In  1822,  a  second  church.  Pearl  street,  was  formed  in  Burlington; 
Mr.  Kennard  went  with  the  colony.  This  body  is  reported  in  the 
Association  minutes  up  to  1828  and  as  having  had  two  pastors.  Others 
claimed  that  the  second  church  existed  but  a  few  months  and  in  1823, 
proposed  uniting  with  the  mother  church. 

There  was  division  at  this  time.  Some  wanted  Rev.  J.  E.  Welsh, 
who  had  returned  east.  Others  preferred  Mr.  Kennard,  who  was 
pastor  of  the  second  church,  a  short  time  and  then  removed  to  second 


Hopewell.  Neither  Mr.  Kcnnard  nor  Mr.  Welsh  were  parties  to  these 
differences.  Both  were  gentlemen  entirely  above  any  such  personali- 

Mr.  Welsh  supplied  the  first  church  for  two  years,  this  being  his 
second  charge  of  the  church,  thence  removing  to  Mount  Holly.  A 
year  passed  and  the  church  called  and  licensed  Deacon  George  Allen, 
who  after  supplying  for  a  year  was  ordained  November  4th,  1826  and 
became  pastor.  Mr.  Allen  was  efficient  and  useful,  closing  his  pastorate 
in  six  years.     We  reap  the  benefit  of  his  care. 

In  the  minutes  of  the  New  Jersey  Association,  is  an  acknowledge- 
ment to  him,  for  files  of  its  minutes,  preserved  by  him,  acquainting 
us  with  the  early  details  of  our  denominational  life.  Two  events 
made  Mr.  Allen's  pastorate  memorable.  One,  an  origin  of  a  Sunday 
school  by  two  sisters  of  the  church.  Misses  Bertha  Ellis  and  Sarah  R. 
Allen,  a  daughter  of  the  pastor.  Miss  Allen  in  1830  married  Peter 
Simonson,  a  promising  young  man.  Her  son,  was  a  pastor  in  Newark, 
New  Jersey  and  her  daughter,  Mrs.  M.  A.  Wright  is  one  of  the  efficient 
workers  in  Burlington  church,  now  past  seventy  years  old.  She  has 
a  large  Bible  class. 

The  other  event  was  the  baptism  of  Mr.  Samuel  Aaron,  a  man 
among  men.  Mr.  Aaron  was  bom  in  New  Brittain,  Pa.  His  parents 
were  members  of  the  Baptist  church  in  the  town.  In  1820,  he  was  a 
teacher  and  student  in  the  classical  and  mathematical  school  of  "Friend" 
John  Gummere  in  Burlington,  N.  J.,  where  Mr.  Aaron  completed  his 
course  in  1822.  "Friend"  Gummere  immediately  emploved  him  to 
teach  in  his  school,  a  foremost  school  in  the  United  States.  Again, 
in  1824,  Mr.  Gummere  engaged  Mr.  Aaron.  Friend  Gummere  was 
a  rare  man  in  the  natural  qualities  of  a  teacher  and  in  his  innate  per- 
ception of  teaching  qualities  of  another  man.  His  judgment  of  the 
teaching  gifts  of  men  and  of  their  moral  and  intellectual  worth  was 
nearly  infallible.  He  had  also,  the  equipment  of  an  education,  which 
gave  him  a  foremost  place  among  educators  as  the  writer  knows  full 
well,  having  been  in  his  classes.  Mr.  Gummere  appreciated  Mr. 
Aaron's  eminent  worth.  In  1826,  Mr.  Aaron  united  with  the  Baptist 
church  by  baptism;  the  same  year  in  which  Mr.  Allen  was  ordained, 
in  his  fifty-fourth  year. 

Mr.  Allen  spent  thirty  years  in  the  ministry.  His  last  pastorate 
at  Penn's  Neck  continued  thirteen  years  and  it  was  his  second  charge 
at  Penns  Neck.  Returning  to  Burlington,  where  he  died,  eighty-seven 
years  old  in  the  midst  of  the  associations  of  his  youth.  Supplies  min- 
itsered  to  the  church  at  the  close  of  Mr.  Allen's  charge  in  1832,  and 
until  the  Baptist  school  was  begun  in  1833.     At  this  time  Mr.  Aaron 


wrote  to  a  friend,  "I  am  likely  to  have  my  hands  full  of  labor  and 
my  mind  of  cares,  for  in  addition  to  the  school,  the  little  church  here, 
needs  the  service  of  some  body  who  will  work  for  nothing  and  find 

The  school  was  founded  by  the  Central  Education  Society  of 
Philadelphia,  representing  Pennsylvania  and  New  Jersey  Baptists. 
Mr.  Aaron  being  principal  of  the  school,  was  called  to  be  pastor  in  Sep- 
tember in  1833.  Thus,  for  the  third  time,  the  church  had  a  pastor, 
one  who  had  been  baptized  into  its  fellowship.  Brighter  days  dawned 
on  the  church,  crowds  waited  on  Mr.  Aaron's  ministry,  converts  were 
added  to  the  church.  A  large  and  modern  house  of  worship  was  a 
necessity  and  in  1834,  one  was  built  and  dedicated  and  filled  with  wor- 
shippers. Pastoral  duties  and  those  of  the  school  were,  however, 
too  great  a  burden.  Mr.  Aaron  gave  up  the  charge  of  the  church  in 
1838,  after  five  years  of  devoted  service.  Rev.  F.  Ketchum  of  Con- 
necticut followed  in  March  1839.  He  had  adopted  the  plan  of  "Pro- 
tracted Meetings"  and  their  accompaniments  introduced  into  the  North 
by  Rev.  W.  T.  Brantly,  Sr.,  pastor  of  the  first  BaptLst  church  of  Phila- 
delphia at  his  coming  from  the  south.  Possibly  Mr.  Ketchum  "pushed 
things"  and  allowed  extremes  which  Mr.  Brantly  would  not  have  con- 
sented to.  For  Mr.  Ketchum  was  a  man  of  intense  earnestness  and 
likely  to  use  any  instrumentality  he  believed  to  be  consistent  with 
Gospel  ministries,  accepting  the  language  of  the  parable :  "Compel  them 
to  come  in,"  as  literal.  Many  were  added  to  the  church  in  his  short 
pastorate;  accepting  a  call  to  Philadelphia  in  May  1840.  Mr.  Ketchum 
held  numerous  meetings  in  New  Jersey  with  uniform  success,  both 
in  the  cit)'  and  in  the  country,  crowds  gathered  to  hear  him.  Re- 
moving to  Illinois,  he  was  equally  successful  in  the  West  as  he  had 
been  in  the  East.     He  died  in  1885,  seventy-five  years  old. 

The  same  year  1840,  in  which  Mr.  Ketchum  left  Burlington, 
Rev.  E.  W.  Dickinson  entered  on  the  pastoral  care  of  the  church.  A 
marked  distinguished  these  pastors.  Mr.  Dickinson  was  a 
man  of  fine  culture,  scholarly  and  a  very  able  preacher.  In  manner, 
style  and  compositions  his  sermons  were  the  opposite  of  his  predecessor. 
The  six  years  of  his  charge  were  a  period  of  growth  and  prosperity. 
The  church  and  congregation  were  loath  to  part  with  him  in  January, 
1847.  His  successor,  Mr.  S.  S.  Parker,  was  ordained  in  June  1847. 
A  good  preacher  and  a  wise  pastor,  the  love  of  his  people  entwined 
about  him  but  his  failing  health  compelled  his  resignation. 

In  February  1850,  Rev.  W.  H.  Parmly  settled.  Mr.  Parmly 
was  a  charming  man.  Everybody  loved  him.  In  all  things  to  all 
people;  always  and  everywhere  Wheelock  Parmly  got  hold  of  you  and 


you  were  glad  to  have  it  so.  He  was  not  a  great  man,  either  as  preacher 
or  counsellor,  but  he  was  good  and  his  companionship  was  delightful. 
Mr.  Family  resigned  in  1854.  While  pastor  the  church  edifice  was 
enlarged  and  bettered.  Mr.  Barnhurst,  who  followed  Mr.  Parraly 
was  eminently  a  missionary  pastor.  A  chapel  was  built  on  Florence 
heights  and  a  way  opened  for  the  organization  of  a  church.  His 
diligence  in  missions,  exposure  by  night  brought  on  consumption  and 
he  was  necessitated  to  retire  in  June  1865.  Going  West,  in  the  vain 
hope  of  recovery,  ere  long  he  had  his  reward  on  high  A  deceiver 
became  pastor;  his  character  was  manifest  and  he  was  excluded  in 
1857.  Supplies  ministered  to  the  church  for  about  two  years,  when 
Rev.  William  A.  Smith  settled  and  was  ordained.  His  health  failing, 
he  resigned  in  1860. 

Rev.  W.  W.  Meech  entered  the  pastorate  the  neixt  June.  The 
Civil  War  was  in  progress.  Its  excitements  were  dominant  and  like 
to  many  other  pastors,  Mr.  Meech  changed  fields,  hoping  for  relief  from 
city  life  in  1862.  About  this  time,  Mr.  Alexander  Tardff  was  licensed 
to  preach  and  with  eleven  others,  were  dismissed  to  constitute  an  Afro- 
American  church.  Rev.  Kelsay  Walling  accepted  a  call  to  be  pastor 
in  1863.  He  closed  his  ministry  at  Burlington  in  August  1871.  This 
was  the  longest  pastorate  the  church  had  enjoyed.  It  was  both 
successful  and  happy.  In  1867-8,  a  gracious  work  was  enjoyed. 
Young  men,  especially,  were  added  to  the  church.  There  were  more 
baptisms  in  these  eight  years,  than  in  any  other  preceding  charge. 
On  December  5th,  1871,  Rev.  J.  E.  Wilson  became  pastor.  The  church 
edifice  was  virtually  rebuilt  and  in  1874,  one  hundred  and  twenty-six 
were  baptized. 

The  earlier  movement  at  Florence  had  failed  and  the  chapel  was 
sold.  A  renewed  interest  was  undertaken,  an  outgrowth  of  the  revival 
of  1874.  In  1875,  a  Sunday  school  was  organized  and  steps  were  taken 
to  build  a  place  of  worship  and  constitute  a  church  in  Florence.  The 
mission  was  sustained  by  Pastor  Wilson  of  Burlington  and  by  resident 
Baptists  in  Florence.  Mr.  W.  F.  Thatcher  of  Florence  was  devoted 
to  the  upbuilding  of  the  church  in  the  town.  Mr.  Wilson  was  pastor 
at  Burlington  about  seven  years  and  had  a  useful  and  fruitful  charge. 
Rev.  E.  Davis  followed,  remaining  four  years  till  1882.  In  the  next 
October,  Rev.  T.  M.  Eastwood  accepted  the  call  to  be  pastor,  con- 
tinuing ten  years.  Soon  after  Mr.  Eastwood  left,  the  church  called 
Rev.  J.  M.  Hare,  who  resigned  to  go  with  the  regiment  of  which  he 
was  chaplain  to  Cuba,  in  the  Spanish  War.  The  desire  of  the  people 
went  back  to  Mr.  Eastwood  and  recalled  him  to  resume  his  former 
pastorate.     He  yielded  to  their  request  and  again  in  1892,  settled  in 


Burlington       and       is       now       (1900)       pastor      at      Burlington. 

Burlington  church  included  many  choice  members.  Two  of  them, 
deacons,  they  licensed  and  called  to  be  pastors.  Another,  also,  Rev. 
Samuel  Aaron,  they  called  to  be  pastor.  Their  action  is  a  type  of  the 
membership  of  our  early  churches,  that  they  included  members,  whom 
they  preferred  as  teachers  of  Divine  truth  and  these  men  could  spend  a 
life  time  from  twenty  to  fifty  years,  preaching  to  the  same  congregation 
and  be  heard  gladly.  Hearers  and  preachers  were  Bible  men.  Evi- 
dently substance  was  to  them  of  more  worth  than  manner,  culture 
and  forms.  These  were  the  men  who  made  us  as  a  denomination  what  we 
are.  Their  spiritual  appetite  was  not  dainty  nor  their  spiritual  digest- 
ion perplexed  with  dyspeptic  tendencies. 

Note  these  names  which  may  be  increased  by  scores:  Southworth, 
John  Walton,  Drake,  Stelle,  llunyan,  Randolph,  Miller,  Allen,  Wilson, 
Kelsay,  Sheppard,  Burrows,  Eaton,  Jenkin,  Bateman,  Curtis,  Sutton, 
Heaton.  The  pastors  of  Burlington  have  included  choice  men.  Fif- 
teen hundred  and  thirty  have  been  baptized  into  the  church.  Three 
churches  have  been  colonized  from  first  Burlington. 

At  Beverly,  after  the  failure  of  W.  H.  Staughton  and  his  "union" 
effort,  W.  H.  Parmly  renewed  the  effort  and  succeeded.  The  church 
has  always  been  housed.  At  a  meeting  of  Baptists,  December  21st, 
1794,  in  Burlington,  the  minutes  state,  "Having  assembled  in  the 
Baptist  Meeting  Hojise,"  bought  in  1794,  from  the  "Friends,"  (Quakers) 
and  held  by  the  trustees  of  Pemberton.  Under  Pastor  Aaron,  a  new 
and  large  house  of  worship  was  built.  It  was  remodelled  under  Pastor 
Parmly,  rebuilt  under  Pastor  Wilson  and  has  since  then,  been  enlarged. 
Thus  the  church  has  had  four  sanctuaries.  Also,  two  chapels  built 
at  Florence  and  a  house  built  at  Beverly  as  is  believed.  Thus,  in  all, 
seven,  the  first  having  been  bought.  Nine  members  have  been  licensed 
to  preach.  Three  of  whom  have  been  pastors.  One  of  them  was  Mr. 
Rice,  who  with  Judson,  sailed  for  India.  If  Mr.  Aaron  is  included  in 
the  nine  licensed  to  preach,  the  number  of  licentiates  would  be  ten. 
The  church  has  had  twenty-one  pastors.  One  of  them  has  been  settled 
twice.  Mr.  J.  E.  Welsh  has  really  had  three  settlements  at  Burlington. 
His  relations  to  the  church  were  most  intimate.  Later,  he  was  a 
resident  of  the  city.  In  July  1876,  he  was  commissioner  of  the  State 
of  Missouri,  to  the  Centennial  Exhibition  in  Philadelphia,  making 
Burlington  his  home.  Although  in  his  88th  year,  he  went  with  an 
excursion  to  the  ocean.  There  were  not  any  railroads  on  the  coast 
then.  Ready  to  bathe  in  the  sea,  he  was  taken  ill  and  died  on  the 
beach.  His  remains  were  removed  to  Burlington,  where  he  began  and 
ended  his  ministry. 


Formerly  Beverly  was  known  as  "Dunk's  Ferry."  The  town  is 
on  the  Delaware  river  about  three  miles  south  of  Burlintgon.  Baptist 
pastors  in  Burlington  have  preached  there  from  an  early  date.  Wil- 
liam H.  Staughton  had  a  mission  station  there  or  nearby.  He  ob- 
tained subscriptions,  chiefly  of  Baptists,  and  erected  a  commodious 
brick  meeting  house  at  Cooperstown,  two  miles  northeast  of  Dunks 
Ferry.  He  made  it  a  "Union  House,"  It  was  used  for  several  years 
harmoniously.  But  for  the  last  thirty-four  years,  up  to  1851,  has 
been  a  bone  of  contention  among  several  denominations  and  is  now 
wholly  unoccupied.  Staughton,  in  his  last  days,  alluding  to  it  called 
it  "Staughton's  folly." 

Beverly  being  a  railroad  town,  and  a  river  town  and  pleasantly 
located,  attracted  a  large  citizen  population  from  Philadelphia,  besides 
others  from  the  country.  After  Staughton's  sad  failure,  Rev.  W.  H. 
Parraly,  pastor  in  Burlington,  established  regular  meetings  at  proper 
seasons  in  groves,  in  an  old  building  and  in  school  houses.  The  resident 
Baptists  finally  decided  to  organize  a  Baptist  church.  This  they  did, 
on  the  tenth  of  February  1851,  twelve  resident  Baptists  constituted 
themselves  a  Baptist  church.  Six  were  from  Philadelphia,  five  from 
Burlington  and  one  from  Bridgeton. 

Already  Beverly  was  a  popular  resort.  In  1850,  Hon.  John 
Fenimore,  a  deacon  of  the  Burlington  church,  bought  a  hall  in  Beverly 
and  offered  the  use  of  the  lower  story  to  the  Baptists  with  the  liberty 
of  buying  the  property  should  they  choose.  Eventually,  the  church 
bought  and  used  it  for  worship.  Becoming  too  small,  and  a  lot  being 
given  to  the  church,  a  brick  house  of  worship  was  built  and  dedicated 
in  1865. 

The  succession  of  pastors  was:  E.  C.  Brown,  1851-52;  G.  G.  Gleason, 
1852-55;  George  Mitchell,  1856-;  E.  M.  Barker,  1858-61;  J.  S.  Miller, 
1862;  Thomas  Davis,  1865-68;  William  Swinden,  1868-72;  W.  Kelsey, 
1872-79;  D.  S.  Fletcher,  1879;  J.  E.  Raymond,  1880-82;  S.  P.  Lewey, 
1883;  J.  Trickett,  1884;  J.  Walden,  1887-92;  H.  C.  Munro,  1893;  T.  S. 
Fretz,  1894-99.     W.  W.  Willis,  1900. 

Of  these  pastors,  E.  M.  Barker  was  of  especial  use.  For  several 
years,  the  meeting  house  had  been  building;  a  large  debt  was  incurred 
and  a  second  disaster  was  near.  The  lot  given  for  the  house  was  out 
of  the  way  and  the  house  if  ever  finished  was  a  bar  to  prosperity.  It 
was  finished  and  dedicated  in  1867.  Mr.  Barker  averted  a  disaster 
that  would  have  been  fatal,  by  his  collections.  Rev.  P.  Powell  was  a 
resident  of  Beverly.  His  record  of  care  for  weak  churches  evinced  his 
concern  for  Beverly,  doing  by  his  counsels  and  gifts,  all  he  could 
for  the  church.     In  1875,  tlie  la5t  debt  on  the  church  was  paid  by  a 


lady  in  Bristol,  Pa.,  giving  the  entire  sum,  thus  relieving  the  church. 
Rev.  Mr.  Powell  died  June  10th,  1886,  ninety-four  years  old.  He  was 
one  of  the  men  of  whom  history  makes  no  mention.  The  writer  knew 
him  well  and  redeems  his  memory  from  oblivion. 

Others,  men  of  the  same  stamp,  J.  Sisty,  E.  Sexton,  E.  V.  Glover, 
D.  Bateman,  Zelotes  Crenelle,  the  Barrass  brothers  and  the  Tea.sdale 
brothers,  men  eminent  in  natural  gifts  to  win  their  way  to  high  places, 
men  who  delighted  to  serve  weak  and  struggling  churches,  which  but 
for  them  would  have  died;  men,  ready  to  serve  in  lowly  places;  men, 
like  to  their  Master,  in  that  "the  poor  have  the  Gospel  preached  to 
them" — served  as  pastors. 

Beverly  shared  in  gifts  from  abroad,  their  first  place  of  worsliip 
was  given  to  them;  the  lot  of  their  second  house  was  a  gift.  Their  debt 
on  their  last  church  edifice  was  paid  by  a  woman  of  another  state. 
Legacies  made  a  parsonage  possible  to  them,  which  was  occupied  in 
1900.  Aside  from  the  pastors  of  first  Burlington,  Bever  y  has  had 
fifteen  pastors  additional  to  the  ministries  of  Rev.  P.  Powell. 

Early  in  1874,  Mr.  Thatcher,  a  member  of  first  Burlington  Baptist 
church,  was  appointed  superintendent  of  the  Florence  Iron  Works. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Thatcher  found  at  Florence  two  or  three  Baptist  families. 
A  Sunday  school  was  begim  there  in  the  fall  of  1874  and  later  a  week 
evening  social  meeting. 

In  January  1875,  Mr.  Wilson,  a  student  and  son  of  the  pastor  at 
Burlington,  began  a  series  of  meetings  at  Florence  at  which  many  were 
converted,  joining  the  first  Baptist  church  in  Burlington.  The  next 
four  years,  students  preached  regularly  at  Florence  and  on  January 
29th,  1880  members  dismissed  from  Burlington  were  constituted 
the  Florence  Baptist  chvn-ch.  Mr.  O.  G.  Buddington  was  called  to  be 
pastor  and  on  September  17th,  was  ordained  and  continued  pastor 
until  December  1885.  Under  his  care  the  church  prospered,  in  1884, 
the  house  was  enlarged  and  improved. 

Pastors  who  followed  were,  C.  D.  Parker,  1886-89;  a  parsonage 
was  built  in  1887;  C.  M.  Deitz,  1889-1893;  a  chapel  was  built  at  the 
railroad  station  and  services  kept  up  in  it.  Mr.  Allyn  was  pastor 
1893-1900.  Revivals  characterized  this  period  and  scores  of  converts 
were  added  to  the  church  by  baptism. 

Deacon  William  F.  Thatcher  was  at  his  own  request  relieved  of 
the  superintendency  of  the  Sunday  school,  having  for  twenty-six 
years,  discharged  its  duties.  The  mission  at  the  railroad  station 
afforded  large  and  useful  outlet  for  the  faithful  activities  of  the  church. 



The  first  residents  in  and  about  Mount  Holly  were  "Friends" 
(Quakers)  locating  in  1670.  William  the  Fourth,  later  King  of  England, 
was  with  the  English  soldiers  in  the  town  in  the  Revolutionary  War. 
Stephen  Girard,  the  famous  Philadelphia  merchant,  the  wealthiest 
man  in  the  United  States,  founder  of  Girard  College  in  Philadelphia, 
kept  a  cigar  store  in  Mount  Holly  and  sold  raisins  to  the  children  by 
the  penny's  worth. 

Humble  circumstances  in  early  life  are  one  of  the  least  conditions 
determining  the  future  success.  As  with  individuals,  so  with  churches. 
A  beginning  is  not  a  forecast  of  the  future.  The  long  delay  of  sixteen 
years,  from  the  early  Baptist  ministries  in  Mount  Holly  to  the  founding 
of  the  church  was  discouraging.  Nevertheless,  a  seed  was  sown  which 
in  due  time  germinated. 

Two  men  had  much  to  do  with  the  developement  of  Mount  Holly 
church.  Peter  Wilson,  pastor  of  Hightstown  church,  who  preached 
in  it  in  1784,  and  Alexander  McGowan,  a  licentiate  of  Hightstown, 
who  from  the  Presbyterian  came  into  the  Baptist  ministry  by  searching 
tlic  Scriptures  to  find  out  if  he  was  right  in  his  ideas  of  the  mode  and 
the  subjects  of  baptism. 

One  Joshua  Smith,  of  New  England,  possibly  a  deacon  but  not 
a  clergyman,  come  to  Mount  Holly  in  1792,  held  a  series  of  meetings. 
Mr.  McGowan  was  pastor  at  Pemberton  in  1795.  He  alternated  on 
the  Lord's  Day  between  Pemberton  and  Mount  Holly.  Dates  vary 
through  the  loss  of  the  old  record.  It  is  not  known  how  long  before 
1795,  and  if  after  the  constitution  of  Mount  Holly  church,  if  Mr.  Mc- 
gowan  visited  the  church.  However  it  is  believed  that  though  Mr. 
McGowan  was  not  pastor,  that  he  had  general  oversight  of  its  affairs 
for  thirteen  years  to  1814,  when  he  removed  to  the  West.  He  was  a 
great  worker,  an  able  preacher  and  soul  winner.  His  labors  at  Mount 
Holly  were  wholly  missionary.  He  baptized  one  hundred  and  nineteen 
converts  in  Mount  Holly.  They  united  with  Pemberton  church.  In 
1805,  Mr.  McGowan  removed  from  Pemberton  to  Marlton.  But  he 
agreed  to  "supply"  Mount  Holly  as  often  as  convenient,  thus  retaining 
his  connection  with  Mount  Holly. 

Meriba  Cox  and  Jane  Mullen  are  said  to  be  the  first  Baptists 
living  in  Mount  Holly.     Their  names  are  among  the  constituents  of 


Mount  Holly.  Some  say  there  were  thirty-six,  others  claim  that 
there  were  fifty-two.  The  date  of  the  organization  is  also  a  question, 
some  insisting  upon  an  earlier  date  than  is  published  in  the  minutes 
Providentially,  in  1814,  (the  year  in  which  Mr.  McGowan  went  West) 
a  young  man,  a  member  of  Mount  Holly  came  on  the  stage  of  public 
life  about  this  time,  the  ever  memorable  John  Sisty. 

Mr.  Sisty  had  been  a  member  of  the  first  Baptist  church  of  Phila- 
delphia and  changed  his  residence  to  Mount  Holly.  Mr.  Sisty  upheld 
his  pastor.  Rev.  H.  Holcombe,  under  the  persecutions  brought 
on     Mr.    Holcombe.  Although     not     officially   pastor   at     Mount 

Holly,  Mr.  Sisty  was  licensed  and  ordained  at  Mount  Holly  to 
serve  the  church  there,  and  for  three  years  preached  and  did  pastor's 
duties  at  his  own  cost.  About  the  time  at  the  end  of  three  years 
Mr.  Sisty  moved  to  Haddonfield.  He  was  entitled  to  the  highest 
respect.  Those  of  us  who  knew  him,  do  not  forget  the  quiet,  un- 
assuming and  unprepossessing  little  man,  who  made  an  indelible 
mark  on  Baptist  interests  in  New  Jersey. 

After  Mr.  Sisty  had  removed,  another  member  of  the  church, 
Joseph  Maylin,  who  had  been  licensed  and  later  was  ordained,  served 
the  church.  Like  to  Mr.  Sisty,  he  was  not  pastor,  also  like  him,  a 
man  of  means,  he  ministered  to  the  church  without  cost  to  it  for  several 
years.  Rev.  J.  E.  Welsh,  likewise,  ministered  for  an  indefinite  period. 
But  whether  with  cost  to  it,  we  do  not  know. 

In  1830,  Rev.  Joseph  Sheppard  of  Salem,  entered  the  pastoral 
office,  continuing  seven  years.  Having  some  private  resources,  he 
was  not  wholly  dependent  on  the  salary  the  church  gave.  Mr.  Sheppard 
inaugurated  a  new  era  in  Baptist  interests  in  Mount  Holly.  Both 
material  forces  were  accumulated  and  agressive  instrumentalities  were 
introduced,  as  the  Sunday  school.  No  mention  is  made  of  the  reason 
for  his  resignation.  But  as  he  lived  in  Camden,  only  three  years 
after  resigning,  it  may  be  that  his  health  was  a  bar  to  continued  pas- 
toral work. 

In  the  fall  of  1836,  Rev.  H.  K.  Green  settled  as  pastor.  His  stay 
was  short.  Again  in  1837,  Mr.  Green  became  pastor.  He  continued 
but  a  little  while.  Mr.  Green  was  genteel  in  speech  and  manner; 
of  rare  culture  and  of  natural  intellectual  gifts.  He  had  also,  a  lassitude 
of  character  which  impaired  his  efficiency  as  pastor  and  teacher. 
The  writer  has  ofttimos  recited  to  him  during  which,  he  has  taken 
a  nap. 

Rev.  Samuel  Cornelius  entered  the  pastorate  in  December  1837. 
He  was  the  opposite  in  all  respects  to  Mr.  Green,  never  lacking  for 
something  to  do  and  doing  it  with  force  and  zeal.     Mr.  Cornelius 


shared  with  Noah  Davis  in  the  origination  of  the  American  Baptist 
Publication  Society.  In  May  1842,  Rev.  H.  S.  Haven  followed  Mr. 
Cornelius,  but  illness  shortened  his  charge. 

A  new  church  edifice  was  begun  in  1843.  It  was  dedicated  in 
March  1844  as  Rev.  T.  O.  Lincoln  began  his  pastoral  care  for  the 
ensuing  two  years,  whom  Rev.  M.  Eastwood  succeeded  in  November. 
Again  there  was  a  vacancy  of  two  years  in  the  pastoral  office.  Rev. 
W.  G.  CoUom  was  pastor  for  three  years  to  June  of  1^53  and  was 
followed  by  Rev.  T.  D.  Worrall  becoming  pastor  in  1854  and  remained 
till  March  1855. 

In  the  next  May,  J.  S.  Miller  settled.  Debts  were  cancelled; 
harmony  restored  and  the  accession  of  converts  to  the  church  assured 
its  future  welfare  when  after  the  dark  days  of  1854  and  5  had  gone. 
Pastor  Miller  at  the  end  of  four  years  of  efficient  service  closed  his 
charge  in  Mount  Holly  in  1859. 

Samuel  Aaron  was  the  next  pastor  in  May,  1859,  remaining  till 
he  died  on  April  11th,  1865.  A  successor  writes  of  him,  "The  fame 
and  persecution  on  account  of  his  temperance  and  anti-slavery  apostle- 
ship,  which  alike  ennoble  his  name,  came  with  him  to  Mount  Holly. 
The  church  cheered  him  and  was  proud  of  him.  Under  the  ministry 
so  devout  and  scholarship  of  so  courteous  a  gentleman,  the  cause  of 
Christ  greatly  prospered.  But  the  anti-slavery  and  radical  temperance 
addresses  of  Mr.  Aaron  made  him  many  enemies."  His  body  and  that 
of  Mr.  Lincoln  awaited  burial  at  the  same  time.  Happily,  Mr.  Aaron 
lived  to  hear  of  the  surrender  at  Appotomax,  but  it  pleased  God  to 
take  him  before  the  murder  of  Mr.  Lincoln. 

The  writer  congratulated  Mr.  Aaron  on  his  dying  bed  upon  the 
surrender  of  General  Lee.  He  also  used  to  hear  the  discussions  of 
delegates  at  the  sessions  of  the  New  Jersey  Association  as  to  who 
should  be  moderator  at  its  annual  meetings,  the  aim  being  to  have 
one  in  the  chair  familiar  "with  the  rules  of  order,"  and  who  had  the 
courage  to  enforce  them  and  Hmit  debate  to  the  subject  under  dis- 
cussion, allusion  being  chiefly  to  Mr.  Aaron.  For  all  knew  that  Mr. 
Aaron  would  be  heard  on  the  themes  of  slavery  and  of  temperance, 
the  aim  being  to  enforce  the  rule  as  to  time  and  frequency  of  remark. 

Usually,  Rev.  J.  E.  Welsh  was  chosen.  He  was  moderator  of  the 
Association  for  many  years,  elected  purposely  to  hold  Mr.  Aaron 
within  bounds.  His  intense  earnestness  and  commanding  eloquence 
on  any  question  of  morals  or  on  the  duties  of  humanity,  demanded  a 
hearing  even  of  those  who  repudiated  his  ideas.  First  a  teacher,  and 
when  converted  a  pi-eacher.  As  teacher,  he  had  no  superior.  The 
writer  recalls  how  glad  the  class  was  to  see  him  come  into  recitation. 


We  knew  it  meant  getting  into  the  heart  of  things.  So  patient,  so 
thorough,  and  so  Hkc  one  of  us.  Students  knew  that  teacher  and 
class  were  a  mutual  aid  societj'. 

Mr.  Aaron's  life  accorded  with  his  profession.  His  home  was  a 
station  on  the  "Underground  Railway"  from  slavery  to  Canada.  The 
writer  heard  him  plead  in  court  for  a  fugitive  being  returned  to  slavery. 
Words  arc  at  fault  to  express  the  pathos,  passion,  and  elo(|uence  of 
that  plea.  Once  he  was  cruelly  beaten  by  a  rum  seller  in  a  street  in 
a  town  in  which  he  lived,  on  account  of  his  advocacy  of  temperance. 
On  another  street,  a  drunken  inebriate  lay  unconscious,  where  he 
would  have  died  in  a  wintry  night.  He  got  him  up,  took  him  home 
with  him,  gave  him  as  good  a  bed  as  his  own,  and  in  the  morning, 
prevailed  v/ith  him  to  reform.     Thus  his  deeds  emphasized  his  words. 

Rev.  A.  G.  Thomas  followed  Mr.  Aaron  at  Mount  Holly  on  August 
1865,  and  had  a  happy  and  successful  pastorate  of  three  years.  In  its 
second  year,  a  remarkable  work  of  grace  was  enjo}'ed.  One  hundred 
and  sixty-four  were  baptized.  The  house  of  worship  was  enlarged  and 
improved.  Mr.  Thomas  was  parted  with,  with  great  reluctance.  He 
was  succeeded  by  Rev.  J.  Waters  in  June  1868.  The  spiritual  life  in 
the  church  continued  in  the  three  years  of  Mr.  Water's  stay.  Rev. 
T.  J.  House  followed  for  ten  months.  In  June,  1874,  Mr.  Edward 
Braislin  was  ordained  and  held  the  pastoral  care  for  seven  years. 
Neither  was  it  the  choice  of  the  church  for  Mr.  Braislin  to  resign. 

On  April  1st,  1882,  Rev.  H.  F.  Smith  entered  the  pastorate.  Mr. 
Smith  retired  to  sleep  February  10th,  1887;  not  coming  to  breakfast, 
the  reason  for  his  delay  was  inquired  into  and  he  was  found  "asleep 
in  Jesus."  An  incident  of  the  evening  was  the  visit  of  a  neighbor 
pastor,  and  at  bedtime,  Mr.  Smith  said  to  his  friend:  "Come  let  us  sing 
my  favoi-ite  hymn,"  and  he  began  to  sing,  "I  would  not  live  alway, 
I  ask  not  to  stay,"  and  sang  the  entire  hymn.  It  was  his  last  song 
on  earth  and  he  had  his  desire,  exchanging  the  song  of  earth  for  that 
of  glory. 

Mr.  Smith  had  lived  a  useful  life.  The  churches  he  had  served 
were  the  better  in  all  respects  for  his  charge  of  them.  He  had  been 
secretary  of  the  Convention  for  fourteen  years,  retiring  from  the 
office,  contrary  to  the  wishes  of  the  Convention. 

After  Mr.  Smith,  came  R.  F.  Y.  Pierce  on  November  1st,  1887. 
In  1888,  the  second  great  revival  occurred,  when  one  hundred  and  five 
were  baptized.  The  enthusiasm  with  which  Mr.  Pierce  began,  con- 
tined  through  this  charge.  Resigning  in  October  1892,  Rev.  S.  G. 
Nelson  began  his  pastoral  work   in   February   1893   and  resigned  in 


November  1895.  The  next  September  1896,  Rev.  C.  H.  Pendleton 
held  the  pastoral  office  and  was  pastor  in  1900. 

Twenty-six  pastors  have  served  the  church.  Messrs.  McGowan 
and  Green  each  had  a  second  pastoral  charge.  Pastors  Sisty  and 
Maylin  were  licensed  and  ordained  to  be  pastors.  These  served  the 
church  at  their  own  cost.  Six  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach. 
Mr.  Sisty  will  ever  be  remembered  for  his  work  at  Mount  Holly  and 
Haddonfield.  A  business  man,  he  gladly  spent  his  money  and  time 
for  needy  fields. 

Only  one  church  has  colonized  from  Mount  Holly,  Marlton  in 
1805,  with  fifty-five  members.  The  first  meeting  house  in  Mount  Holly 
was  built  in  1800,  by  the  Pemberton  church  and  was  in  use  forty-two 
years.  In  1843,  in  an  interim  of  pastors,  a  larger  and  better  house 
was  built  and  dedicated  in  Mr.  Lincoln's  charge.  The  building  has 
undergone  many  changes  and  enlargements,  and  Mount  Holly  now  has 
a  house  of  worship  both  large  and  most  fitting  for  church  uses. 

The  "Friends"  (Quakers)  had  settled  in  New  Jersey  in  the  vicinities 
of  Philadelphia,  long  before  William  Penn  located  his  colony  in  Penn- 
sylvania about  1682.  This  may  have  influenced  him  to  choose  the 
location  for  his  colony.  Wealthy  Englishmen,  "Friends"  had  bought 
large  tracts  of  land  in  New  Jersey  and  had  sent  colonies  of  their  per- 
secuted brethren,  who  could  not  pay  both,  the  of  emmigration  and 
buy  their  lands,  on  which  to  settle.  These  opulent  "Friends"  provided 
thus  for  their  afflicted  friends  early  in  1600  and  by  their  financial 
interests  in  West  Jersey,  which  they  acquired  in  1676.  Anthony 
Sharp  of  Tedbury,  England,  then  of  Dublin,  Ireland,  planted  colonies 
of  such  "Friends"  south  of  Camden  and  appointed  his  son  Isaac,  its 

The  Quakers  had  shared  with  Baptists  in  persecutions  for  their 
ideas  of  civil  and  religious  liberty.  Fellowship  for  each  other  in  common 
sufferings,  explains  the  coming  of  these  sects  from  New  England,  Vir- 
ginia and  Europe,  to  New  Jersey,  where,  owing  to  the  caste  of  the 
population,  the  largest  liberty  of  speech  and  conduct  had  been  enjoyed 
and  where,  an  instance  of  restraint  and  persecution  for  the  exercise 
of  one's  conviction  of  truth  and  duty  has  never  been  kno%vn. 

Quakers  and  Baptists  had  a  positive  influence  with  Charles  the 
Second,  when  he  Avas  King  of  England  and  he  was  so  far,  just  and 
honorable  as  to  cherish  the  obligations  of  his  father,  Charles  the  First, 
to  Quakers  and  Baptists,  non-combatants  in  the  Civil  War  of  England; 
thus  they  had  security  for  their  personal  rights  and  the  sympathy  of 
the  Royal  government  in  its  appointment  of  Governors  and  Judges 
of  the  Courts.     These  conditions  favored  both  Friends  and  Baptists, 

MAllLTON  191 

of  which  tho  population  of  New  Jersey  and  Pennsylvania  was  so 
largely  made  up.  Baptists  also,  had  more  sympathy  in  a  Quaker 
community  than  other  denominations. 

Evesham  township,  from  which  Marlton  church  took  its  first 
name,  was  very  large,  including  Marlton  village.  Peter  Wilson  of 
Hightstown;  Alex.  McGowan,  Isaac  Carlisle  and  Benjamin  Hcdger 
of  Pemberton,  had  preached  in  Evesham  as  early  as  1788.  In  1803, 
some  of  its  residents  were  so  much  interested  that  they  sent  to  Mount 
Holly  to  arrange  with  Mr.  McGowan  to  preach  among  them.  He 
did  so.  Converts  were  made  and  baptized;  others  were  impressed 
by  the  ordinance.  Congregations  outgrew  the  old  school  house.  A 
meeting  house  was  a  necessity  and  in  1804,  it  was  decided  to  build 
one,  which  was  dedicated  in  September  1805.  The  building  was  to 
be  a  Baptist  meeting  house,  free  however,  for  the  use  of  other  denom- 
inations, when  not  used  by  Baptists,  an  instance  of  Baptist  liberality. 
Their  fundamental  principle  of  the  right  of  each  and  all  to  decide  for 
themselves,  their  religious  views  and  assure  to  others,  eciual  right, 
which  they  claim  for  themselves  not  only  in  opinion,  but  as  much  in 

Having  a  house  of  worship  and  distant  from  Mount  Holly,  of 
which  church  they  were  members,  a  church  organization  was  desirable. 
Accordingly,  on  November  16th,  1805,  the  Evesham  Baptist  church  of 
nine  members  was  recognized.  Mr.  McGowan,  pastor  of  Pemberton 
church,  was  called  to  be  pastor  and  ministered  to  them  for  nearly 
nine  years,  till  1814.  (Minutes  of  New  Jersey  Association,  1815,  page  7). 
Mr.  McGowan  was  a  noble  minister  of  the  Gospel  and  was  in  his  day, 
named  a  "soul  winner."  His  work  was  ended  on  earth  on  his  journey 
west  by  the  overturning  of  a  wagon  in  which  he  was  fatally  hurt.  He 
died  June  8th,  1814. 

The  revered  John  Sisty  of  Mount  Holly  took  the  pastoral  office 
in  1815,  preaching  once  each  month.  Prosperity  was  enjoyed  up  to 
March  1819,  when  he  resigned.  On  June  6th,  1818,  nine  were  dis- 
missed to  organize  a  church  at  Haddonfield.  Mr.  Sisty  had  been 
preaching  there  for  more  than  a  year,  and  in  September  1818,  began 
his  remarkable  charge  of  Haddonfield  church.  He  always  had  a  large 
place  in  the  hearts  of  the  people  where  he  labored.  He  will  always 
be  included  among  the  men  whom  the  King  had  delighted  in  and  whom 
the  churches  valued  for  wisdom,  devotion,  and  sterling  integrity  in 
any  and  in  all  conditions.. 

Peter  Powell  was  another  of  those  quiet,  modest  men,  whose  name 
never  got  in  newspapers.  They  could  wait  for  the  indorsement  coming 
at  the  last,  from  the  King  of  Zion.     Three  times,  Mr.  Powell  came  to 


the  help  of  the  chureh.  He  was  one  of  the  ministers  ready  at  their 
owai  cost  to  do  what  the}-  could  to  help  a  struggling  church.  He  supplied 
the  church  continuously  at  his  own  cost  and  for  a  compensation  of 
one  dollar  and  twenty-five  cents,  each  Lord's  Day  as  the  funds  allowed. 

For  five  years,  from  about  1S25,  the  records  are  blank  and  for 
eight  years,  there  were  no  mentions  of  a  baptism.  Nevertheless, 
there  "were  a  few  names  for  they  are  worthy."  The  members  met 
and  prayed  and  in  due  time  their  praters  were  answered.  Rev. 
Joseph  Sheppard  came  to  their  help  in  December,  1829,  and  with  great 
self-sacrifice,  minist<-red  to  the  church,  until  June,  1834.  In  these  five 
years,  a  new  era  began.  Mr.  Sheppard  may  be  justly  esteemed  as 
one  of  the  Fathers  to  this  Israel.  A  Sunday  Scliool  was  begun.  Mr. 
Samuel  Hervcy  was  called  to  be  pastor  and  was  ordained  at  the  close 
of  Mr.  Sheppard's  service.  He  had  been  Mr.  Sheppard's  assistant. 
After  nearly  four  years  of  acceptable  service,  Mr.  Hervey  resigned 
and  went  west.  Rev.  Mr.  M.  S.  Earl  was  pastor  for  one  year,  1838. 
In  this  year,  a  re\aval  began  new  life  in  the  church. 

A  large  number  of  nearby  Baptist  residents,  members  of  neigh- 
boring churches  joined  Marlton  church.  These  additions  involved  a 
larger  church  edifice  located  in  the  village  of  Marlton.  Among  those 
who  returned  to  Marlton,  was  Charles  Kain.  He  had  been  dismissed 
to  constitute  Haddonfield  church.  His  memory  will  be  cherished  in 
that  region  as  a  sjmonj'm  for  goodness,  enterprise  and  devotion  to 
every  interest  of  the  Kingdom  of  God,  not  alone  on  Baptist  lines,  for 
he  was  a  Baptist  of  the  straightest  sort.  But  everywhere  and  with 
all,  sought  first  the  kingdom  of  God.  In  August  1839,  the  church 
decided  to  build  a  house  of  worship  in  the  A-illage  of  Marlton  and  in 
June  31st,  1840,  it  was  dedicated.  Rev.  J.  M.  Courtney  was  called  to 
be  pastor  in  connection  with  Moorestown  church.  This  joint  pastorate 
lasted  till  July  1841.  Then  the  pastor  was  taken  with  the  "'western 
fever"  and  went  thither. 

Total  abstinence  from  all  intoxicants  as  a  beverage,  was  adopted 
as  a  condition  of  membership  in  1840.  In  the  fall  of  the  same  year, 
mission  work  was  begun  at  Tansboro,  that  issued  in  the  organization 
of  a  church.  About  the  same  time,  mission  work  was  begun  at  Med- 
ford  and  in  the  14th  of  February,  1841,  sixteen  members  were  dis- 
missed to  constitute  the  Medford  church.  A  temporary  stay  by  one 
CJilled  to  the  pastorate  continued  to  January  1842.  After  that,  until 
June  supplies  served  the  church,  when  Rev.  I.  W.  Hayhurst  entered 
the  pastorate.  He  stayed  less  than  two  years.  The  Tansboro  church 
was  constituted  at  the  close  of  January  1844;  eighteen  being  dis- 
missed from   Marlton   for  that   purpose.     Following   Mr.    Hayhurst, 


A.  M.  Tyler  was  ordained  in  May  1844.  In  the  next  July,  22nd,  he 
died.  Rev.  J.  M.  Challis  entered  as  pastor  of  both  Marlton  and  Moores- 
town  churches  in  April  1845  and  retained  his  relation  to  the  churches 
for  seven  years.  The  name  of  the  church  was  changed  to  Marlton  in 
that  year.  When  Pastor  Challis  resigned,  the  church  decided  to  main- 
tain its  pastor  independently.  Rev.  C.  E.  Wilson  having  ministered 
to  the  church  for  a  year  from  June  1852,  While  pastor,  a  season  of 
revival  was  enjoyed. 

The  small  salaries  and  the  growing  children  who  ought  to  be 
educated  often  made  the  minister's  life  a  trial  to  himself  and  to  a 
church.  Both,  however,  endured  the  hardship.  Mercenary  motives 
are  attributed  to  pastors,  in  accepting  a  larger  salary,  when  in  fact, 
it  is  a  duty  done  at  the  cost  of  many  a  heart  ache. 

On  October  2nd,  1853,  Rev.  J.  R.  Murphy  accepted  the  charge 
of  the  church  and  held  it  for  six  hears,  with  great  benefit  to  the  church. 
In  June  1856,  the  church  suffered  a  great  loss  in  the  death  of  Deacon 
Charles  Kain.  His  influence  and  character  had  been  of  untold  worth 
to  Haddonfield  church  of  which  he  was  a  constituent.  It  had  been 
also  an  unspeakable  gift  to  Marlton  church.  But  good  men  must 
needs  die  and  receive  their  reward  from  Him,  who  knows  them  and 
their  worth. 

In  January  1860,  Rev.  E.  M.  Barker  settled  as  pastor.  A  mission 
Sunday  school  was  begun  this  year  at  Evesboro;  another  at  Medford 
in  1863.  Mr.  Barker  resigned  in  1863.  On  the  next  January  1864, 
Rev.  R.  S.  James  entered  the  pastorate.  In  the  winter  of  1865-6, 
one  hundred  and  fifteen  were  added  to  the  church  by  baptism,  a  fruit 
of  a  revival.  Mr.  James  closed  his  oversight  in  September  1867  and 
was  followed  by  Rev.  M.  Jones,  who  again  resigned  about  1870.  Mr. 
T.  L.  Bailey  was  ordained  in  July  1871  and  became  pastor.  His 
infirmities  seriously  impaired  his  ministry.  On  account  of  his  broken 
health,  he  closed  his  labors  at  Marlton  in  1873,  but  supplied  the  church 
until  June  1874.  Then  Rev.  A.  B.  Still  became  pastor.  Various 
improvements  in  the  church  edifice  and  in  the  grounds  were  effected 
in  this  pastorate,  which  continued  until  December  1877.  The  next 
April  1878,  Pastor  Bray  entered  the  pastoral  office,  holding  it  till 
January  1884,  when  Rev.  W.  W.  Bullock  followed  in  1884,  ministering 
until  1887.  By  the  next  July,  Rev.  G.  B.  Young  was  pastor  for  two 
years.  Him,  Rev.  C.  W.  O.  Nyce  succeeded  in  June  1889  and  was 
pastor  in  1900;  a  long  pastorate  for  Marlton  and  corresponding  in 
length  with  the  first,  Mr.  McGowan. 

Marlton  is  a  rural  church.  Many  instances  occur  in  our  churches 
of  the  influence  for  good  of  an  individiual.     Of  these,  was  Deacon 


Charles  Kain.  Those  of  us  who  knew  him  will  ever  remember  his 
genial,  staunch  and  forceful  Christian  character.  He  was  an  under- 
standing Baptist  and  such  Baptists  as  he  was  are  always  a  power  for 
good.  Positive,  bold  and  yet  kind;  his  memorj'  and  work  will  be 
a  stimulant  to  those  who  knew  it,  to  do  and  be,  the  best  for  Christ  and 

Marlton  church  has  had  nineteen  pastors.  Deacon  Elijah  Bryant 
was  licensed,  ordained  and  pastor  in  two  churches  that  colonized  from 
Marlton.  The  church  has  had  two  meeting  houses,  one  built  in  1805, 
another  erected  in  Marlton  village.  Four  churches  have  gone  out  of 
Marlton,  Haddonfield,  Medford,  Tansboro  and  Berlin.  Chapels  were 
built  in  Medford  and  in  Tansboro  and  a  parsonage  in  Marlton  in  1860. 
The  earliest  Baptist  ministers  in  this  field  were  from  Pemberton  and 
by  Pastor  McGowan,  Isaac  Carlisle  and  Benjamin  Hedger,  licentiates 
of  Pemberton,  were  great  helps  to  their  pastor  in  his  work.  In  the 
decade  1801-10,  three  Baptist  churches  were  constituted,  Burlington, 
Mount  Holly,  and  Marlton. 

A  characteristic  of  the  state;  Hezekiah  Smith  in  New  England; 
John  Gano  in  New  York  and  the  West  and  the  numerous  appointments 
of  New  Jersey  pastors  sent  by  the  Philadelphia  Association  on  Mission- 
ary tours  to  the  South  and  West,  is  a  sufficient  explanation.  In  their 
earliest  movement,  the  New  Jersey  churches  preferred  the  whole  cause 
to  themselves;  as  is  shown  by  the  constitution  of  the  Philadelphia 
Association,  made  up  as  it  was  by  three  churches  in  New  Jersey,  one 
in  Delaware  and  one  in  Pennsylvania.  The  new  Jersey  Baptists 
giving  up  their  choice  of  name  for  the  good  of  Baptists  in  general, 
with  the  result  that  the  influence  of  the  body  was  diverted  from  them 
and  their  local  unity  was  absorbed  in  foreign  interests.  Nevertheless, 
New  Jersey  Baptists  churches  retained  a  majority  in  that  Association 
for  forty  years.  Neither  was  it  until  1811,  that  there  was  a  concen- 
tration in  the  state  in  behalf  of  home  interests. 



Baptist  activities  at  Haddonfield  began  with  a  woman.  Women 
have  been  a  significant  force  in  the  growth  of  the  kingdom  of  God  in 
the  world.  Malignant  contempt  for  the  churches  has  been  expressed 
by  assertions  that  women  were  a  large  majority  of  them.  They  are. 
For  morality  and  Godliness  they  always  have  been  a  vast  majority. 
Men  are  a  vast  majority  of  the  drunkards,  of  criminals  and  reprobates. 
There  was  but  one  Apostle  at  the  cross,  but  the  three  Marys  were  there. 
The  crisis  in  human  history  was  in  the  reign  of  Constantino,  when  the 
question  was,  whether  Paganism  or  Christianity  should  be  the  faith 
of  the  palace  and  of  the  throne.  The  decision,  which  changed  the 
destinies  of  humanity  and  gave  to  mankind  all  we  have  of  civilization 
and  Christianity  worth  having,  came  from  the  Christian  Baptist  Welsh 
wife,  a  princess  in  her  native  land,  so  historians  say. 

Few  changes  in  the  working  economy,  both  of  our  churches  and  m 
our  country  have  been  more  extreme  than  that  concerning  women. 
In  1817,  Lettice  Evans,  a  woman  living  in  Haddonfield,  requested 
Rev.  John  Sisty  to  come  to  Haddonfield  and  preach.  She  offered  her 
own  house  in  which  to  hold  the  meeting.  It  seems,  however,  that  on 
May  17th,  1817,  he  preached  in  the  school  house,  from  Heb.  4:12.  So 
much  interest  was  shown  that  Mr.  Sisty  made  regular  appointments 
for  two  Lord's  Days  in  each  month  until  on  the  11th  of  June  1818, 
when  a  council  met  in  a  grove  and  ten  Baptists  were  constituted  into 
the  Haddonfield  Baptist  church.  Nine  of  these  were  from  Evesham 
(Marlton)  church.  Rev.  H.  Holcombe  of  the  first  Baptist  church  of 
Philadelphia  preached.  Among  those  from  Marlton  church,  was 
Charles  Kain,  Sr.  He  was  chosen  one  of  the  deacons  holding  the  office 
till  his  return  to  Marlton  church  in  1839.  Mr.  Sisty  was  not  a  con- 
stituent of  Haddonfield  church.  Later,  when  called  to  be  its  pastor, 
he  brought  his  letter  from  Marlton.  Mr.  Sisty  was  a  small  man,  hesi- 
tating and  slow  of  speech.  Personally,  he  reminded  one  of  Paul's 
description  of  himself  in  II  Cor.  10:10.  But  he  was  devoted  and  an 
able  man  that  won  and  kept  the  confidence  of  every  one.  He  had 
been  baptized  by  Rev.  Thomas  Ustic,  pastor  of  the  first  Baptist  church 
of  Philadelphia.  This  accounted  for  his  strong  and  tender  sympathy 
with  that  church  and  its  pastor,  H.  Holcombe,  in  its  trials  with  the 
Philadelphia  Association.     In  business  in  Philadelphia,  Mr.  Sisty  had 


gained  a  competence  which  enabled  him  to  give  efficient  aid  to  many 
weak  churches,  bringing  them  to  strength. 

About  five  months  after  Mr.  Sisty  had  preached  his  first  sermon 
in  May  1817,  steps  were  taken  to  build  a  house  of  worship,  anticipating 
an  organization  of  a  church.  Subscriptions  were  made  to  build  a 
"Baptist  meeting  house."  The  lot  was  bought  and  a  brick  building 
erected  which  was  dedicated  November  24,  1818.  Rev.  H.  Holcombe 
preached,  Mr.  Sisty  getting  the  ablest  preacher  of  the  denomination, 
as  a  representative  of  it. 

Midway  between  the  organization  of  the  church,  the  dedication 
of  its  house,  converts  were  won  and  baptized  and  relationship  to  "them 
that  were  without,  were  impressed  upon  his  hearers  and  collections 
were  ordered  to  be  taken  to  give  the  Gospel  to  the  destitute."  In 
these  days,  the  "laying  on  of  hands"  upon  the  baptized  on  their  ad- 
mission to  the  church  was  hotly  disputed.  Some  members  claimed  that 
this  was  an  ordinance  and  left  the  church  because  Mr.  Sisty  did  not 
observe  it.  The  church  refused  to  be  divided  on  a  question  so  obscure 
and  left  the  matter  to  "the  decision  of  the  pastor  and  of  the  con- 
verts." Mr.  Sisty  was  a  pastor  to  whom  opportunity  was  the  only 
limitation.  An  "open  door"  drew  him  to  Moorestown  in  1836,  and 
many  souls  were  won  there  to  Christ.  After  being  pastor  at  Haddon- 
field  twenty-one  years,  Mr.  Sisty  resigned  in  1839.  He  died  in  1863, 
being  eighty  years  old.  In  these  twenty-four  years,  by  his  means, 
his  counsils  and  preaching,  he  was  a  great  blessing  to  needy  and  troubled 

Rev.  C.  C.  Park,  who  followed  him  at  Haddonfield,  had  the  pas- 
toral care  there  for  a  year,  closing  his  labors  in  1840.  In  that  year, 
Rev.  C.  E.  Wilson  settled  as  pastor  and  resigned  after  four  years  in 
which  many  were  baptized.  The  next  eighteen  months,  Rev.  M. 
Eastwood  ministered  to  the  church.  In  May  1847,  Rev.  Caprion 
occupied  the  office  of  pastor  till  ill  health  compelled  his  resignation. 
Rev.  W.  H.  Brisbane  was  a  supply  in  Mr.  Caprion's  illness  and  suc- 
ceeded him  till  September  1848.  For  several  months,  W.  D.  Hires 
supplied  the  church. 

The  succession  of  pastors  was  A.  S.  Patton  in  the  spring  of  1851. 
Under  whose  ministry,  the  congregations  outgrew  the  capacity  of  the 
church  edifice  and  it  was  decided  to  build  a  larger  one.  On  January 
12th,  1853,  the  lecture  room  was  occupied.  As  a  fruit  of  special 
meetings,  numerous  baptisms  were  enjoyed.  Mr.  Patton  closed  hi 
labors  at  Haddonfield  in  1854.  Another  annual  pastorate  by  Rev. 
A.  Lathem  occurred,  closing  in  1856.     A  like  annual  charge  followed 


by  Rev.  J.  D.  Meeson  ending  in  1857.  Rev.  J.  E.  Wilson  was  pastor 
1857-61,  taking  a  chaplaincy  in  the  army. 

On  January  1st,  1862,  Rev.  R.  F.  Young  entered  on  pjistoral 
charge.  A  new  order  began  with  his  coming.  He  included  the  su- 
rounding  country  in  his  field.  Within  a  short  time  he  had  five  mission 
Sunday  schools.  The  house  of  worship  was  improved  at  large  cost 
and  the  mortgage  paid.  A  parsonage  was  bought  and  put  in  complete 
condition  from  a  work  of  grace.  The  pastor  baptized  eighty-eight. 
Nor  was  Mr.  Young  limited  to  home  interests.  The  benevolence  of 
the  church  increased  fourfold.  Mr.  Young  was  a  member  of  the  State 
Boards  of  Missions  and  of  Education  while  a  resident  of  the  state. 
He  laid  the  foundations  of  the  remarkable  outgrowth  of  the  church 
under  his  successor.  Mr.  Young  died  January  5th,  1884,  closing  a 
pastorate  eminent  among  eminent  pastorates  in  New  Jersey. 

On  the  ensuing  1st  of  May,  1884,  Rev.  H.  A.  Griesemer  entered 
upon  the  charge  of  the  church.  The  enlarged  congregations  made 
necessary  for  the  third  time,  a  larger  house  of  worship.  A  more  central 
site  was  chosen  and  the  present  beautiful  sanctuary  was  built  in  1885-6, 
costing  forty  thousand  dollars  and  opened  for  worship  October  17th. 
A  chapel  at  Ellisburg  was  built  in  1886,  costing  one  thousand  dollars 
and  paid  for.  A  chapel  at  Mount  Ephraim  was  put  up  in  1887  at  a 
cost  of  twenty-five  hundred  dollars.  The  parsonage  deljt  of  twenty- 
five  hundred  dollars  was  paid  in  1888.  In  1889,  ten  members 
were  dismissed  to  constitute  a  church  at  Collingswood.  Next 
3'ear,  1890,  the  John  Sisty  memorial  chapel  was  built  on  the  site  of 
the  old  house  of  worship  at  a  cost  of  fifteen  hundred  dollars,  also  a 
chapel  at  Magnolia  for  twenty-five  hundred  dollars.  In  1891,  a  chapel 
for  fifteen  hundred  dollars,  was  erected  at  Hillman's  and  in  1893,  the 
mortgage  debt  of  ten  thousand  and  six  hundred  dollars  on  the  new 
church  edifice  was  paid  and  the  house  formally  dedicated.  One 
hundred  and  four  were  baptized  in  1894.  Twenty-five  members 
were  dismissed  to  form  a  church  at  Mount  Ephraim  in  1895.  A  mission 
Sunday  school  was  begun  at  Haddon  Heights  in  1897  and  in  1898,  a 
chapel  was  built  there  costing  thirty-five  hundred  dollars  and  eighteen 
members  dismissed  to  form  a  church  there.  Mt.  Olivet  (colored) 
was  established  in  1892  and  their  meeting  house  was  largely  built  by 
first  Haddonfield  church.  It  cost  two  thousand  dollars.  A  goodly 
number  of  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach.  Large  sums  have 
been  given  for  world-wide  missions.  Pastor  Griesemer  held  his  office 
till  April,  1900,  having  been  pastor  sixteen  years. 

Haddonfield  has  had  three  houses  of  worship  and  has  built  seven 
chapels  for  mission  schools  and  the  house  of  worship  for  Olivet  church. 


Seven  colonies  have  gone  out  from  Haddonfield,  organizing  churches, 
one  of  which, — in  Newton — disbanded.  The  first  house  of  worship  at 
Moorestown,  was  in  part  largely  paid  for  by  the  mother  church.  No  hu- 
man estimate  can  be  made  of  the  value  of  the  pastorate  of  Mr.  Young; 
the  Sunday  schools  he  established  were  the  beginning  and  foundation 
of  the  colonies,  subsequently  sent  out  and  Haddonfield  church  owes  a 
vast  obligation  to  him  and  to  Mr.  Sisty,  its  founder. 

The  section  about  Moorestown  has  several  other  churches  than 
the  Baptist  church  there.  On  this  account,  the  church  in  the  town 
is  limited  to  the  immediate  locality.  But  the  town  is  attractive  and 
grows,  inviting  residents  from  abroad.  Baptist  meetings  had  been 
held  long  before  the  church  was  formed.  A  daughter  of  Rev.  Mr. 
Ustic,  once  pastor  of  the  first  Baptist  church  in  Philadelphia,  lived 
in  the  village.  Her  "latch  string"  was  always  out  for  Baptist  ministers. 
Her  husband,  a  member  of  another  denomination,  cheerfully  welcomed 
those  of  his  wife's  fellowship.  Mr.  Sisty  had  been  baptized  by  this 
lady's  father  and  came  often  to  the  town  to  preach  and  while  pastor  at 
Haddonfield,  had  regular  appointments  at  Moorestown.  The  first 
man  whom  he  baptized  there  was  Charles  Kain,  Jr.,  son  of  Deacon 
Charles  Kain  of  his  church  in  Haddonfield.  Mr.  Kain,  Jr.,  later  entered 
the  ministry. 

Those  baptized  at  Moorestown  united  at  Haddonfield  and  in 
April  1837,  C.  Kain,  Jr.,  asked  the  Haddonfield  church  for  the  letters 
of  thirty  members  to  constitute  a  church  at  Moorestowni.  These 
with  two  others  from  Marlton  church,  in  all,  thirty-two  organized 
the  Moorestown  church  on  May  6th,  1837.  At  its  first  business  meet- 
ing, a  pledge  was  adopted  to  abstain  from  the  habitual  use  of  intoxi- 
cants as  a  beverage,  and  required  a  like  pledge  from  all  applying  for 
membership  in  the  church.  This  action  was  taken  early  in  the  tem- 
perance movement.  Measures  were  at  once  taken  to  erect  a  house 
of  worship,  with  such  success  that  it  was  dedicated  in  August  1838. 
Rev.  J.  M.  Courtney  had  aided  Mr.  Sisty  in  continuous  meetings  held 
previous  to  the  organization  of  the  church  and  when  these  were  closed 
maintained  Baptist  meetings  in  the  place,  relieving  Mr.  Sisty,  who  was 
now,  nearing  seventy  3^ears  of  age,  of  the  added  duties  of  his  charge  and 
at  the  constitution  of  the  church,  was  its  first  pastor.  Mr.  Courtney 
was  an  able  devoted  pastor  for  nearly  five  years,  resigning  in  1841. 
For  the  ensuing  months,  Rev.  J.  Wigg  supplied  the  church,  also.  Rev. 
Ezekiel  Sexton  served  as  supply  for  months.  Thus  nearly  three  years 
passed.  Mr.  Sexton  was  the  same  type  of  man  as  Mr.  Sisty  and  Mr. 
Powell  in  being  above  the  necessity  of  a  salary. 

In  1845,  Marlton  and  Moorestowm  churches  united  to  obtain  the 


joint  pastoral  charge  of  Rev.  J.  M.  Challis,  an  arrangement  that 
lasted  seven  years  and  was  profitable  to  both  churches.  Mr.  Challis 
thought  that  each  church  ought  to  have  its  own  pastor  and  resigned 
in  1852;  characteristic  of  all  of  Mr.  Challis's  pastorates,  the  churches 
had  grown  in  all  the  elements  of  efficiency.  After  awhile,  Rev.  E.  D. 
Fendall  followed  at  Moorestown  and  was  pastor  for  twelve  years, 
closing  his  labors  at  Moorestown  in  1864.  Succeeding  pastors  were, 
Miller  Jones,  1864-68;  J.  E.  Bradley.  While  pastor,  the  old  place 
of  worship  was  torn  down  and  a  larger  and  better  one  built  and  the 
basement  was  in  use  before  Pastor  Bradley  resigned  in  1873.  Twenty 
seven  members  were  also  dismissed  in  1870  to  constitute  the  Fellowship- 
church.  That  body  dissolved  in  1875,  the  members  returning  to  the 
mother  church.  But  a  mission  was  made  at  the  chapel  in  which  the 
Fellowship  church  had  worshiped.  J.  H.  Brittain  1873-82,  nine  years. 
Pastor  E.  McMinn  entered  on  his  duties  in  January  1883.  A  mission 
was  begun  at  Mount  Laurel  in  1883  and  another  at  Hartford  in  1886. 
These  included  a  Sunday  school,  preaching  and  devotional  meetings. 
In  May  1890,  Mr.  McMinn  surrendered  his  pastoral  charge  and  was 
followed  by  Rev.  W.  T.  S.  Lumbar  in  1890,  who  is  pastor  in  1900. 

Moorestown  church  is  indebted  for  its  existence  to  pastor  Sisty 
of  Haddonfield,  to  whose  labors,  C.  Kain,  Jr.,  added  his  efficient  efforts 
to  perfect  the  plans  of  Mr.  Sisty.  Moorestown  has  had  ten  pastors. 
Mr.  Lumbar  has  been  in  office  ten  years  to  1900.  Two  church  edifices 
have  been  in  use.  Several  have  been  licensed  to  preach;  of  them  were 
C.  Kain  Jr.,  two  brothers,  J.  N.  and  A.  H.  Folwell;  both  licensed  and 
ordained  at  Moorestown.  The  entire  region  for  a  circuit  of  many 
miles  in  the  vicinity  of  Philadelphia  has  been  settled  by  "Friends" 
(Quakers).  The  difference  in  their  ideas  of  the  ordinances  and  of 
ours,  was  a  hindrance  to  our  growth  in  their  neighborhood,  never- 
theless, their  consent  that  the  only  scriptural  baptism  was  a  burial 
in  water,  put  us  on  a  better  relation  to  them  than  other  denominations. 
Besides,  they  and  we  had  suffered  persecutions  as  the  champions  of 
religious  liberty  and  of  equality  before  the  law  and  of  the  right  to 
exercise  private  opinions  on  any  and  all  subjects  and  this  gave  us  a 
hold  upon  them  which  they  recognized  and  thus  there  are  but  few 
towns  and  Quaker  strongholds  where  we  do  not  have  strong  churches. 
The  writer  recalls  times  in  which  "Friends"  and  Baptists  were  domi- 
nant in  West  Jersey.  The  loss  of  Hopewell  and  other  schools  and  the 
persistence  of  Presbyterian  educational  facilities  changed  the  order  of 
past  times. 

When  Moorestown  had  been  equipped  for  the  offices  of  a  church, 
Haddonfield  dismissed  eighteen  members  in  May  1843  to  form  the 


Newlon  Baptist  church.  The  man,  John  Sisty,  widely  known  for  his 
helpfulness  to  young  and  struggling  churches,  was  pastor  at  Newton 
the  first  year  of  its  life.  After  him,  another  of  the  same  stamp.  Rev. 
C.  Sexton,  in  place  of  waiting  for  a  call,  himself  called  the  church.  Soon 
after  his  settlement  the  church  built  a  meeting  house  and  reported  to 
the  .i^^sociation  of  it:  "The  expenses  of  which  are  mostly  paid."  No 
doubt  there  good  ministers  did  their  share  of  this  undertaking.  Mr. 
Sisty  and  these  Sextons,  originally  of  Jacobstown  church,  Charles 
and  Ezekiel,  were  noble  men,  counting  nothing,  given  or  suffered  for 
Christ  loss.  They  preferred  a  lowly  place  wth  such  churches  than 
higher  positions  They  had  their  reward  in  the  lofty  appreciation 
of  their  brethren  and  the  memory  of  him  who  knew  their  work,  and 
now  they  have  the  dignities  which  they  enjoy  "on  high."  Mr.  Sexton 
was  pastor  five  years,  resigning  in  July  1850.  Rev.  Mr.  Patton  followed 
Mr.  Sexton  closing  his  labors  in  1854.  He  supplied  the  church  how- 
ever, till  the  end  of  1856.  The  name  of  the  church  disappears  from 
the  minutes  of  the  Association  in  1857.  Next  year  it  is  stated  that  the 
church  had  disbanded. 

Ten  members  of  Haddonfield  church  Ln  August  1889,  were  dis- 
missed to  organize  a  Baptist  church  at  CoUingswood.  Rev.  W.  F. 
Smith  became  its  pastor  in  May  1890.  A  neat  and  commodious  house 
of  worship  was  begun  soon  after  the  constitution  of  the  church  and 
was  dedicated  in  October  1890.  Pastor  Smith  resigned  in  September 
1892.  Two  months  later.  Rev.  G.  B.  Morse  settled  as  pastor.  Again, 
in  1894,  Rev.  A.  D.  Nichols  entered  the  pastorate.  In  1899,  Rev. 
J.  M.  Ashton  accepted  a  call  to  be  pastor  and  was  in  office  in  1900. 
Originally,  a  mission  of  Hoddonfield  church  and  with  a  small  member- 
ship, they  built  a  fitting  sanctuary  and  increased  ninety-eight  mem- 
bers in  two  years,  sustaining  themselves.  A  creditable  record  and 
e\'incing  a  courage  which  justified  the  movement. 

An  Afro  American  church,  located  in  Haddonfield,  was  instituted 
in  1892.  This  body  received  ample  aid  to  build  their  meeting  house 
from  the  first  church.  Rev.  J.  P.  Gregory  became  pastor  in  1893 
and  in  1900  was  still  pastor,  seven  years.  There  is  a  lack  in  the  pub- 
lished records  of  Mount  Olivet.  Enough  however,  is  known  to  assure 
confidence  in  its  well  being.  Its  pastor's  long  settlement  is  a  token  for 
good  to  himself  and  to  the  people  of  his  charge. 

A  mission  of  first  Haddonfield  grew  into  the  Magnolia  Baptist 
church  in  1894.  The  mission  Sunday  school  begun  in  1880  under 
Pastor  Young  was  nurtured  until  1891,  when  a  chapel  was  built  at  a 
cost  of  twenty-five  hundred  dollars.  The  Magnolia  church  was  organ- 
ized in  1S94,  with  thirteen  members.     Rev.  T.  R.  Rowe  was  pastor 


from  then  to  August  1896,  when  sickness  made  a  change  of  pastors 
necessary.  While  Mr.  Rowe  was  pastor,  the  debt  on  the  church 
edifice  was  paid.  S.  R.  Wood  followed  as  pastor  the  same  year. 
Financial  burdens  were  very  serious  at  this  time.  But  the  Camden 
Association  gave  needful  aid  to  its  young  churches,  effecting  thus, 
the  chief  aim  of  Association  relationship.  Pastor  Wood's  health 
failed  and  he  resigned  in  1899.  Despite  adversities,  the  members  of 
the  church  increased  to  fifty-seven  and  all  current  expenses  were 

Haddonfield  sent  out  another  colony  in  two  years,  which  became 
the  Mount  Ephraim  church.  Twenty-three  constituents  composed 
it.  Previously  in  1887,  a  chapel  had  been  erected.  Rev.  A.  E.  Finn 
was  the  first  pastor,  resigning  in  1897  and  was  followed  by  Mr.  D.  E. 
Lewis,  who  served  the  church  for  a  year.  Then  Mr.  J.  T.  Anderson 
settled  in  1899  and  was  pastor  in  1900.  Since  the  organization  of 
the  church  its  membership  has  doubled  and  all  debts  on  the  property 
are  paid. 

This  mission  was  the  first  established  after  Mr.  Griesemer  followed 
Pastor  Young  at  Haddonfield.  Of  necessity,  the  field  about  Haddon- 
field had  been  thoroughly  occupied  by  Mr.  Young.  Haddon  Heights, 
however,  had  grown  into  a  populous  location.  Since  Mr.  Young  had 
died,  a  mission  Sunday  school  that  had  been  begun  in  1897  and  for 
which  a  modest  meeting  house  was  built  in  1898,  had  prospered. 
That  year,  eighteen  members  were  dismissed  to  constitute  a  church 
there.  The  church  lias  prospered  and  is  growing.  The  local  mem- 
bership, anticipating  increased  strength  by  being  an  independent 
church,  overcame  the  objections  of  Pastor  Griesemer  to  an  early 
church  organization.  Mr.  T.  H.  Sprague  became  pastor  in  1898  and 
in  1900  was  occupying  the  place. 



Of  the  twenty-three  constituents  of  the  Medford  church,  sixteen 
came  from  Marlton;  four  from  Haddonfield;  one  from  Philadelphia, 
one  whom  Mr.  Sisty  had  baptized,  but  had  not  joined  a  Baptist  church. 
Mr.  Sisty  was  the  first  Baptist  minister  to  preach  at  or  near  to  Med- 
ford. Mr.  Sisty  preached  in  homes  and  in  the  summer  of  1839,  in  a 
grove  near  Medford.  The  Medford  church  was  organized  on  February 
25th,  1841.  About  two  years  after  the  meeting  in  1841,  a  house  of 
worship  was  built.  Worthless  subscriptions  for  the  building  subjected 
the  property  to  a  heavy  debt  and  it  was  sold  by  the  sheriff.  James 
Logan  and  Judge  Swain,  members  of  Pemberton  church,  bought  the 
property;  by  the  kindness  of  these  men  the  church  occupied  it. 

Years  after  the  death  of  Judge  Swain,  Mr.  Logan  met  one  of  the 
executors  of  the  Judge's  estate  and  asked  the  executors  to  join  him 
and  to  transfer  the  property  to  the  church.  They  did  and  the  church 
received  the  property  entirely  free  of  all  incumbrance,  these  brethren 
giving  both  the  cost  of  the  property  to  them  as  well  as  the  interest  of 
the  money  they  bought  it  for,  until  they  returned  it  to  the  church. 

The  pastors  have  been,  J.  M.  Carpenter,  1841-45;  jointly  with 
Vincentown;  George  Sleeper,  1847-49;  J.  M.  Cochran,  1850-52;  J. 
Thorn,  1853-54;  T.  W.  Sheppard  supply  to  1857;  John  Todd,  1858-63. 
Mr.  Briant.  A  colony  to  form  a  church  went  out  1865.  Mr.  Briant  went 
with  the  colony.  He  had  been  a  deacon  of  Marlton  and  was  ordained 
when  sixty  years  old  and  died  February  20th  1867,  sLxty-four  years 
old.  Medford  was  his  first  pastorate  and  was  an  outgrowth  of  his 
labors,  his  second  charge.  He  was  a  man  of  real  devotion  and  much 
beloved.  Walter  Patton,  1868;  W.  G.  Coulter,  1869;  J.  M.  Craner, 
1872-77.  In  a  revival  while  pastor,  many  were  baptized.  L.  H. 
Copeland,  1879;  E.  K.  Bailey,  1880-83;  W.  F.  Smith,  ordained  in  the 
spring  of  1884-86;  W.  H.  Beach,  1886;  J.  M.  Lyons,  1887-90;  W.  A. 
Leak,  1890;  K.  Walling,  1891-95.  A  lot  was  bought  and  a  new  meeting 
house  built  and  dedicated  in  1894.     J.  W.  Francis,  1896-1900. 

Medford  has  had  twenty  pastors;  one  died.  Mr.  Carpenter,  Mr. 
Sleeper  and  Mr.  Briant  were  very  useful  at  Medford.  Mr.  Todd  had 
the  longest  pastorate.  One  colony  went  out  from  Medford.  Two 
houses  of  worship  have  been  in  use  at  Medford.  Latterly,  the  church 
has  been  in  financial  straits,  due  to  anti-Baptist  views.     These  financial 


difficulties  have  been  removed  through  the  agency  of  Rev.  D.  DeWolf, 
superintendent  of  missions  of  the  State  Convention,  chiefly  by  means 
of  Rev.  J.  E.  R.  Folsom,  evangelist  and  Sunday  school  missionary  of 
the  State  Convention. 

While  David  and  John  Brainerd  were  missionaries  to  the  Dela- 
ware Indians,  a  meeting  bouse  was  built  for  their  worship.  The  tribe 
dwindled  to  two  and  had  no  more  use  for  the  sanctuary.  The  people 
of  Vincentown  bought  it  and  moved  it  into  the  village.  Thenceforth, 
it  was  kno^\^l  as  the  "Free  Meeting  house"  and  was  used  by  all  denom- 
inations for  worship.  Pastors  of  the  Pemberton  church  preached  in 
in  more  than  others.  Rev.  Alexander  McGowan  of  Pemberton,  was 
the  first  Baptist  to  preach  in  it. 

Mr.  McGowan  ha  been  introduced  to  Pemberton  by  Rev.  Peter 
Wilson  of  Hightstown;  his  successors,  especially  John  Rogers,  made 
regular  appointments  at  Vincentown  every  month.  Rev.  C.  W. 
Mulford,  who  followed  Mr.  Rogers,  continued  to  preach  at  Vincentown 
and  Baptists  gained  rapidly,  and  within  a  short  time  a  Baptist  church 
became  necessary.  Accordingly,  on  September  19th,  1834,  twenty- 
nine  members  of  Pemberton  were  dismissed  to  constitute  a  Baptist 
church  at  Vincentown.  Soon  after  its  organization,  a  committee  was 
appointed  to  build  a  house  of  worship,  which  was  duly  completed. 
Mr.  Mulford  was  called  to  be  pastor  and  so  far  as  he  could  consistently 
with  his  pastoral  duties  at  Pemberton,  supplied  the  church  at  Vin- 
centown. After  a  period  of  supplies,  Rev.  WiUiam  Smith  became 
pastor  in  1837,  remaining  until  1840.  Being  an  eminently  good  man, 
he  enjoyed  universal  respect  and  the  church  prospered  under  his 
ministries.  Rev.  J.  M.  Carpenter  followed  in  January  1841,  remaining 
till  1849.     Mr.  Carpenter  had  rare  gifts  as  a  statistitian  and  tabulist. 

New  Jersey  owes  him  a  vast  amount  for  his  work  on  these  lines.  Addi- 
tional to  Vincentown,  Mr.  Carpenter  was  the  first  pastor  of  Medford  Bap- 
tist church,  preaching  there  on  the  Lord's  Day  afternoon.  The  same  year 
in  which  he  resigned.  Pastor  J.  S.  Miller  settled  in  September,  remaining 
till  1855.  Mr.  Miller  was  useful  not  only  in  promoting  spirituality  in 
the  church,  i)ut  of  relieving  it  of  debts.  Rev.  J.  Thorn  followed  Mr. 
Miller  in  1855-70,  nearly  fifteen  years.  His  only  fault,  if  fault  it  was, 
was  his  extreme  modesty  and  diffidence.  A  parsonage  was  bought  and 
the  church  edifice  was  repaired  and  improved.  Rev.  J.  Bray  was 
pastor  1870-72.  Mr.  F.  O.  Ekins  was  ordained  and  pastor  1873-75. 
The  sympathies  of  the  people  went  to  their  old  pastor,  Rev.  James 
Thorn,  whom  they  recalled  and  he  returned  in  June  1875.  Death 
closed  his  earth  work  in  January  20th,  1881.  His  two  pastorates 
included  twenty  years.     Mr.  Thorn  was  a  true  man.     The  succession 


of  pastors  till  1900  was:  T.  A.  Floyd,  1882-3;  A.  H.  Bliss,  1884-87; 
H.  Hill,  1887-91;  W.  H.  Harrison  1892-94;  E.  D.  Shull,  1894-95;  W.  H. 
Harrson,  1895-1900.  Mr  Harrison  was  ordained  in  his  first  charge  in 
January  1892  and  was  the  second  pastor  recalled.  Both  Mr.  Thorn 
and  Mr.  Harrison  indicated  that  their  people  preferred  good  things  to 
new  things.  Few  can  know  a  pastor's  experience  amid  the  plodding 
of  farm  life  and  of  old  people,  who  if  not  born  tired,  grew  tired  with 
drudgery  or  his  experience  amid  the  aspirations  of  youth  for  school 
and  part  in  a  busy  world  and  who  are  replied  to  "I  had  no  larnin'  and 
I  have  got  on;  what  was  good  enough  for  me  is  good  enough  for  you." 
Pastors  wno  have  been  there  know  the  mountains  of  prej\idice  and 
of  hindrance,  encountered  in  prevailing  in  such  to  adopt  ideas  of 
progress.  It  is  a  satisfaction  that  changes  are  happening  in  rural 
districts.  Inquiry,  contact,  schools  are  having  vast  fruitage,  diffusing 
culture.  In  another  generation,  there  will  be  less  change  from  country 
to  town  and  clergymen  in  the  country  will  have  audiences  of  culture 
and  homes  of  refinement  which  will  afford  congenial  companionship 
and  an  appreciative  hearing.  Vincentown  has  had  fifteen  pastors. 
Two  of  them  have  had  a  second  charge.  Vincentown  is  a  colony  of 
Pemberton  and  has  been  a  great  stay  to  Medford. 

Berlin  is  in  Camden  county,  several  miles  from  the  sity  of  Cam- 
den. Deacon  Chalkley  Haines  of  Marlton  church  removed  to  Berlin 
also  Mr.  William  S.  Kain,  a  member  of  Marlton  church  and  began  a 
Sunday  school  in  the  town  hall  of  Berlin  on  June  23rd,  1867.  The 
Sunday  school  numbered  sixty  one  scholars  and  ten  teachers.  Deacon 
Haines  was  at  this  time  in  his  ninetieth  year.  The  Sunday  school 
grew  and  in  1869,  an  unused  Methodist  building  and  lot  were  bought 
and  paid  for. 

Pastor  Miller  Jones  of  Marlton  occasionally  preached  at  Berlin, 
until  in  June  1874,  the  Berlin  Baptist  church  was  organized  with 
nineteen  constituents  under  the  pastoral  care  of  Rev.  A.  J.  Hires. 
Deacon  Haines  was  the  means  of  the  organization  of  the  Fellowship 
church  in  co-operation  with  Pastor  Sisty  and  C.  Kain.  When  Mr. 
Hires  retired,  T.  W.  Wilkinson,  a  student,  supplied  the  Berlin  church 
and  in  1876,  was  ordained  and  became  pastor.  After  a  little,  illness 
compelled  him  to  resign  in  1881. 

Mr.  Samuel  Hughes,  a  student  ministered  with  great  success 
until  1884,  when  his  physician  warned  him  of  the  nearness  of  his 
death,  and  he  retired.  Loss  of  pastoral  care  is  rarely  made  up  by 
the  best  of  supplies;  as  in  married  life,  so  in  church  life.  Rev. 
Messrs  Powell  and  Raybold  did  well  and  much  good  resulted  from 
their  ministries  up  to  1894.     Deacon  Coxey  of  the  first  Baptist  church 

BERLIN  205 

of  Canuhai,  ;i(l(led  Berlin  to  the  long  list  of  young  churclies,  which 
he  delighted  to  aid  and  Mr.  Simmonds,  a  student,  was  secured.  lie 
laljored  with  success  for  two  )fears.  Mr.  J.  R.  Murdock,  a  student 
likev/ise,  continued  until  1898.  Another  student,  Mr.  H.  W.  Stringer, 
renewed  pastoral  labors  and  in  1899  entered  the  pastorate. 

In  1900,  a  chapel  in  West  Berlin  was  dedicated.     The  old  place 
of  worship  bought  in  the  beginning,  has  undergone  enlargements  and 
remodelling  so  thoroughly  that  it  would  not  be  recognized  in  its 
originality.     Instead    of    pastors,    students    have    mostly    ministered, 
who  young  and  earnest,  have  had  unusual  success  in  their  ministries. 




Columbus  church  was  derived  from  Pemberton  Baptist  church. 
Not  that  Pemberton  had  members  there,  nor  that  Pemberton  ex- 
pended her  resources  on  the  field,  but  that  her  pastor,  C.  W.  Mulford, 
saw  in  the  field  of  which  Coulmbus  was  a  center,  a  section  destitute 
of  a  ministry  that  called  men  to  repentance.  For  Mr.  Mulford  to  see 
such  a  need,  was  to  devise  ways  and  means  to  make  up  its  lack.  Pastor 
L.  G.  Beck,  in  his  centennial  sermon  of  Pemberton  church  states, 
"Brother  Mulford  bestowed  much  labor  on  the  Columbus  field,  laid 
the  foundation  of  God's  visible  church  and  did  much  in  the  erection 
of  a  house  of  worship." 

An  old  carpenter  shop  was  the  first  place  of  meeting,  which  those 
interested  fitted  up,  whose  regular  service  was  held  once  in  two  weeks. 
Divine  blessing  attended  the  place  and  the  people.  Converts  were 
gathered,  uniting  at  Pemberton  church.  A  larger  and  better  place 
was  needed.  A  lot  was  secured  and  a  meeting  house  was  built  and 
dedicated.  At  the  end  of  Mr.  Mulford's  charge  at  Pemberton,  his 
labors  at  Columbus  ended.  But  the  Rev.  W.  D.  Hires,  pastor  at 
Jacobstown,  took  up  the  work  and  occupied  the  field,  and  when  Mr. 
Hires  removed  from  Jacobstown,  students  from  the  Burlington  school 
preached  and  kept  up  the  services.  In  1839,  Mr.  J.  C.  Dyer,  a  licentiate 
of  the  first  Baptist  church  of  Philadelphia,  was  teaching  inVincentown. 
He  visited  and  preached  in  Columbus.  After  a  little,  he  was  ordained. 
Soon  afterwards,  he  died. 

The  next  spring,  in  18-10,  Rev.  William  Smith  moved  to  Columbus 
and  was  pastor  at  Jacobstown,  preaching  a,t  Columbus  on  alternate 
weeks.  On  Ferbuary  25th,  1841,  nineteen  Baptists  met,  adopted  a 
covenant  and  articles  of  faith  and  constituted  the  Baptist  church  of 
Columbus.  Rev.  William  Smith  supplied  the  church  till  March  1845. 
His  service  included  five  years.  From  the  middle  of  July,  Rev.  B.  N. 
Leach,  pastor  at  Bordentown,  supplied  the  church  for  a  few  months. 

Rev.  Job  Gaskill  was  the  first  pastor  and  gave  his  whole  labors 
to  the  church,  from  April  1846,  Mr.  Gaskill  was  well  known  in  that 
region.  His  family  was  an  old  one  and  influential  and  he  did  not 
need  a  salary  for  his  suppor  .  He  had,  however,  coo  much  religion 
and  concern  for  the  church  to  preach  for  nothing.  The  house  of 
worship  was  repaired.  Mr.  Gaskill  taking  charge  of  the  work,  collecting 


the  funds,  paid  all  debts.  Two  stations  were  established  and  two 
places  of  worship  were  built,  one  at  Jobsfown  and  one  at  Chesterfield. 
A  later  writer,  speaking  of  Mr.  Gaskill  says:  "Vigor  and  strength 
characterized  his  ministry.  He  served  the  church  in  every  position; 
was  a  true  friend  to  succeeding  pastors  and  in  him  the  poor  and  needy 
had  heart  sympathy  and  the  penitent  sinner  was  pointed  to  "the  Lamb 
of  God  who  taketh  the  Sin  of  the  World."  At  the  same  time,  he  com- 
bined honest}^  and  firmness  in  the  discharge  of  known  duties."  The 
writer  knew  him  well.  A  man  of  lofty  Christian  principle.  He  resigned 
at  Columbus  in  October  1850  to  accept  another  charge.  Ere  long,  he 
returned  to  the  old  homestead  and  sent  his  letter  to  Columbus  church, 
broken  down  in  health  and  never  preached  any  more.  He  was  church 
clerk  to  the  day  of  his  death,  April  10th,  1860,  only  forty-seven  years 

Mr.  H.  C.  Putnam  was  ordained  to  be  pastor  on  April  20th,  1851-53. 
S.  Gale,  1854-55;  J.  M.  Lyons,  1856-59;  E.  C.  Ambler,  1859-60;  W.  H. 
Jones,  ordained  1861  and  died  December  1862;  J.  M.  Lyons,  1863-65; 
W.  D.  Sigfried,  1867-68;  G.  W.  Snyder,  1869-71 ;  W.  B.  Tolan,  1871-72; 
a  new  house  and  location,  H.  Wescott,  1873-77;  C.  A.  Babcock,  1877-79; 
R.  Cheney,  1879-85;  A.  S.  Flock,  1885-88;  W.  L.  Wurdell,  1889;  H. 
Hill,  1890-93;  M.  C.  Alexander,  1893-96;  J.  F.  Jennings,  1896-97; 
W.  O.  Owens,  1898-1900. 

The  church  has  had  twenty  pastors.  One  member  has  been 
licensed  to  preach.  Two  sanctuaries  have  been  built,  the  first  by  Mr. 
Mulford  long  before  the  church  was  organized;  the  second  by  Rev.  H. 
Wescott  in  1872  and  dedicated  in  November  1872.  One  church  has 
been  colonized  in  1871,  now  Chesterfield. 

In  the  summer  of  1839,  two  young  ladies,  members  of  the  first 
Baptist  church  of  Philadelphia,  Miss  Margaret  Burtis  and  Miss  Margaret 
Keen,  visited-  friends  in  Recklesstown,  (now  Chesterfield).  They 
were  impressed  with  the  lack  of  the  religious  activities  to  which  they 
were  accustomed  at  home,  neither  Sunday  school  nor  church,  only 
the  quiet  uniformity  of  "Friends  meeting,"  consecrated  the  Lord's 
day  with  worship,  song  and  prayer.  "Their  spirit  was  stirred  within 
them,"  as  was  Paul's  in  Athens  (Acts  17:16)  and  going  from  house  to 
house,  they  gathered  the  children  in  a  school  house  for  Sunday  school. 
Beside  officers  and  teachers,  they  began  the  school  with  sixty-nine 
youth.  Returning  home  they  took  the  burden  of  the  Sunday  school 
with  them.  When  returning,  to  the  village,  they  took  with  them  a 
student,  who,  interested  the  people  with  expositions  of  Scripture. 

Miss  Keen  was  a  daughter  of  Deacon  Joseph  Keen  of  the  first 
Baptist  church  of  Philadelphia  and  subsequently  the  wife  of  Rev.  W. 


E.  Watkinson,  many  years  pastor  of  the  Hamilton  Square  Baptist 
church.  Miss  Burtis  was  a  companion  and  intimate  friend  of  the  writer's 
sisters,  all  members  of  the  first  Baptist  church  of  Philadelphia.  These 
families  had  been  under  the  training  of  those  foremost  men  of  their 
day,  Holcombe  and  Brantly  Sr.,  pastors  of  the  church,  who  introduced 
a  new  era  of  Christian  activities  among  Baptists  of  the  North,  who 
were  tending  to  antinomianism.  The  first  Baptist  minister  on  this 
field  in  New  Jersey,  was  a  son  of  the  first  Baptist  church  in  Philadelphia, 
T.  D.  Anderson.  The  Sunday  school  which  these  ladies  planted  was 
the  origin  of  the  Baptist  church  of  Chesterfield.  Its  scholars  founded 

The  trustees  appointed  a  committee  of  three  to  build  a  house  of 
worship.  Two  of  them  were  ministers.  Revs.  J.  Gaskill  and  Christian 
Brinkerhoff.  This  house  w^as  dedicated  January  25th,  1848.  Baptist 
interests  were  well  looked  after  by  Mr.  Gaskill,  until  laid  aside  by. 

Rev.  C,  Kain,  Jr.,  pastor  at  Jacobstowai  preached  occasionally 
at  Chesterfield  and  in  1867  he  had  special  meeting  in  the  village  and 
baptized  one  hundred  and  five  converts  won  in  them.  Himself,  lilce 
to  Mr.  Gaskill  and  Henry  Wescott  was  not  dependent  on  a  salary.  But 
he  was  an  eminently  spiritual  man.  A  debt  left  upon  the  church 
edifice,  was  eventually  paid  off  by  the  efforts  of  Rev.  J.  M.  Carpenter 
in  1865.  The  Chesterfield  Baptist  church  was  organized  on  January 
28th,  1871.  Mr.  Kain,  Jr.,  seems  to  have  been  the  first  pastor,  the 
Jacobstown  church  consenting  to  his  preaching  at  Chesterfieldon  the 
afternoon  of  the  Lord's  day,  when  in  September  1871,  Rev.  A.  G. 
Thomas  became  pastor  of  Jacobstown  church.  He  followed  Mr. 
Kain  at  Chesterfield. 

The  later  succession  of  pastors  was:  M.  L.  Ferris  ordained  in 
February   1874-80;  L.   S.   Colburn,   1880-82;   R.   G.   Lamb,   1883-86. 

Rev.  C.  E.  Cordo,  hearing  of  the  low  condition  of  the  church, 
voluntarily  held  a  series  of  meetings  there  with  happy  results.  The 
need  of  a  pastor  was  felt  and  the  question  of  a  parsonage  was  intro- 
duced by  the  offer  of  a  lot  for  it,  by  Mrs.  Bullock  of  Chesterfield.  A 
parsonage  house  was  built  by  funds  freely  offered.  These  events 
occurred  about  1888-89;  A.  Millington,  1888-92;  A.  J.  Alexander, 
ordained  September  1893-94;  E.  M.  Ogden,  1895-99.  Ill  health 
induced  his  resignation.  The  name  of  the  church  was  changed  to 
that  of  the  town  in  which  it  was,  about  this  time.  Rev.  Mr.  Miller, 
October  1900. 

Chesterfield  has  had  the  usual  experience  of  rural  churches,  in 
the  going  to  centers  of  business  of  the  younger  population.     Nine 


pastors  have  been  in  charge  of  the  church.  Cultured  pastors  are  apt 
to  consent  to  exchange  a  small  salary  that  denies  education  to  their 
children,  for  a  larger  one  that  assures  to  them  their  right  to  the  best 
help  for  advance  in  the  world  and  Avho  knows  that  his  wife  is  breaking 
down  under  the  hardships  of  daily  toil  and  of  the  economy  necessary 
to  "make  both  ends  meet."  He  is  called  from  home  at  times  and  is 
relieved  of  the  trials  of  home,  while  the  wife  endures  constantly,  the 
routine  of  managing  to  save  and  of  a  dark  future  for  the  children,  for 
whom  she  "dies  daily"  inspired  by  a  mother's  love. 

Chesterfield,  while  intimately  related  to  Columbus  and  to  Rev. 
Mr.  Job  Gaskill  was  more  really  a  child  of  Jacobstown.  Fifty-nine 
members  were  dismissed  from  Jacobstown,  to  constitute  it.  Rev. 
Mr.  Rue,  pastor  of  Jacobtsown,  was  the  means  of  building  its  house  of 
worship  and  Mr.  Kain,  another  pastor  of  Jacobstown,  was  the  first 
pastor  of  Chesterfield,  by  the  consent  of  Jacobstown  church,  to  preach 
there,  on  the  afternoon  of  the  Lord's  day.  (Thus  though  Pastor 
Gaskill  of  Columbus  cared  for  the  young  church,  Jacobstown 
is  really  the  mother  church.) 




Upper  Freehold  church  is  much  older  in  its  formal  organization 
than  the  Holmdel  church;  still  it  is  younger.  At  Holmdel,  the  two 
first  houses  of  worship  and  the  two  first  parsonages  owned  by  Middle- 
town  church  were  built.  The  first  about  1664-5.  The  debris  of  the 
original  buildings,  lay  on  the  site  of  the  structures  for  about  one  hundred 
years  after  their  decay  and  after  the  building  of  the  third  house  by 
John  Bray  in  1 705  and  of  a  parsonage  in  1 825  on  the  Holmes  and  Law- 
rence tracts,  which  Mr.  Braj'  bought  in  1688.  (  A  descendant  of  Mr. 
Bray  of  the  same  name  showed  the  writer  the  original  deed  made  in 
1688).  Mr.  Lawrence  selling  his  in  anticipating  of  removing  to  Upper 
Freehold.  The  first  and  second  meeting  houses  and  the  parsonages 
were  on  the  Holmes  tract,  facing  on  the  road  from  Holmdel  to  Colt's 
Neck,  we  thus  have  a  clue  to  the  early  days  of  Pastor  Ashton's  coming 
to  Holmdel. 

When,  however,  Abel  Morgan  reduced  his  visits  to  once  in  two 
months  and  John  Coward,  a  licentiate  of  Middletown,  but  living  at 
LT^pper  Freehold,  declined  preaching  in  the  intervals  of  Mr.  Morgan's 
absence.  Baptists  felt  the  need  of  a  church  organization  and  of  con- 
trolling the  frequence)^  of  ministerial  supply.  If  once  in  two  months 
was  equivalent  to  destitution,  Mr.  Morgan,  before  this,  must  have 
been  preaching  often  at  Upper  Freehold,  and  the  station  been  an  im- 
portant center.  About  this  time,  in  May  1766,  the  church  was  con- 
stituted with  forty-seven  members  dismissed  from  Middletown.  For 
the  first  seven  years,  it  was  knowii  as  the  Crosswicks  Baptist  church. 
But  then  it  took  the  name  of  Upper  Freehold  Baptist  church.  Mr.  Coward 
was  not  one  of  the  constituents.  His  son,  John  Coward  of  Borden  town, 
was  one  of  the  trustees  to  whom  Mr.  Borden  in  1751,  gave  the  deed 
of  the  lot  on  which  the  Bordento%vn  Baptist  church  stands;  fifteen 
years  before  the  L^pper  Freehold  church  was  formed.  Among  the 
constituents  of  the  LTpper  Freehold  was  the  name  of  Holmes.  Si.x 
were  named  Cox. 

The  identity  of  Upper  Freehold  and  Middletown  is  indicated  by 
Baptistto^^'n  (Holmdel)  and  Upper  Freehold,  being  exclusively  the 
localities  in  Middletown,  in  which  the  "yearly  meetings"  were  held, 
when  Middletown  and  Piscataway  alone  held  them.  They  were 
really  quarterly  meetings,  two  being  held  in  each  church  alternately 


every  year,  three  months  apart.  In  these  locaUties  the  bulk  of  the 
members  Uved.  In  1766  Middletown  had  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
six  members.  Forty-seven  besides  Mr.  Coward  and  wife,  were  more 
than  one  third  of  them  residents  at  Upper  Freehold.  More  of  them 
were  doubtless  resident  at  Holmdel  thus  showing  where  the  heart  of 
Middletown  church  was.  Had  Baptisttown  (Holmdel)  and  Upper 
Freehold  insisted  on  a  division  and  each  retained  the  original  date  of 
1668,  it  would  have  prevented  the  misconception,  that  the  body  in 
Middletown  village  was  the  original  Middletown  church. 

In  historical  sketches  of  Jacobstown  and  Upper  Freehold,  the 
impression  is  given  that  the  families  of  Cox,  Mount  and  Cheeseman, 
went  from  Middletown  to  those  parts.  Most  likely  the  impression 
grew  out  of  the  occurrence  of  these  names  among  the  constit- 
uents of  the  Middletown  Church.  It  should  be  remembered,  how- 
ever, that  the  members  of  that  body  in  its  earliest  history,  in- 
cluded the  Baptists  in  all  this  part  of  East  Jersey.  These  families 
settled  in  vicinities  near  where  their  descendants  are  now  so  numer- 
ous. The  family  of  Cox,  the  old  maps  indicate  as  having  originally 
located  near  to  Upper  Freehold. 

James  Ashton,  the  son  of  the  first  pastor  of  Middletown  church, 
was  not  a  member  of  the  church,  when  he  first  moved  to  Upper  Free- 
hold, but  it  is  beheved  that  later  he  was  a  member  of  it.  He  was  a 
bachelor  and  his  name  is  lost  from  among  the  residents.  It  is  written 
of  him  "that  he  was  in  high  esteem  as  a  citizen,  a  Christian  and  a 
Judge,"  and  added  "  that  he  was  a  model  man  and  Christian."  Mr. 
Ashton  left  a  legacy  to  the  church.  Baptists  in  early  days  invited 
ministers  to  visit  them  and  to  preach.  The  Upper  Freehold  Baptists 
bought  a  dwelling  house  and  fitted  it  up  for  a  place  of  worship.  These 
people  evidently  had  means  to  spare  for  spiritual  uses.  The  early 
Baptists  of  Monmouth  county  were  neither  poor  nor  little.  Pastor 
Abel  Morgan  was  not  lacking  in  labor  in  his  field  from  1739  to  1761. 
The  many  calls  on  him  from  far  and  near  were  enormous. 

The  coming  of  Rev.  Samuel  Stillman  to  Upper  Freehold,  supplied 
Mr.  Morgan's  place  there  for  two  years  from  1761.  The  Hightstown 
church  and  its  pastor  also  relieved  him  of  care  of  that  vicinity,  so  that 
he  could  go  abroad  from  his  field  oftener  than  had  been  previously 
allowed  to  him.  Mr.  Stillman  retired  from  Upper  Freehold  and  Rev. 
David  Jones  took  his  place  in  1763  and  later,  when  the  church  was 
organized,  was  its  first  pastor.  Mr.  Jones  was  a  student  at  Hopewell, 
and  had  studied  Theology  with  Abel  Morgan,  being  a  member  and 
licentiate  of  Middletown  church,  he  was  a  constituent  of  Upper  Free- 
hold and  its  pastor  in  1776.  Including  three  years  before  the  organization 


of  tliL"  church,  he  ministcsred  at  Upper  Freehold  thii-teen  years,  resigning 
because  bitterly  opposed  to  British  tj'ranny  and  to  his  intense  loyalty 
to  the  Congress  of  the  colonies.  A  minute  in  the  church  book  says: 
"These  were  troublesome  times." 

The  people  of  New  Jersey  were  divided  into  parties  of  "Whigs" 
and  "Tories."  the  names  designating  the  parties  loyal  to  Congress  and 
to  England.  An  incident  illustrates  the  type  of  man  Mr.  Jones  was. 
W'alking  on  the  street  he  heard  one  calling  "Brother  Jones,  Brother 
Jones!"  Looking  back  he  saw  a  drunken  man  lying  by  the  side  walk, 
who  asked  "Brother  Jones,  don't  you  know  me?"  "I  am  one  of 
your  converts."  He  replied,  "You  look  like  one  of  my  converts; 
if  God  had  converted  you,  you  would  not  be  lying  there."  The  preach- 
ing of  such  men  and  the  preaching  they  preached  built  up  our  great 
denomination.  Quite  unlike  a  modern  sort  that  calls  on  sinners  "to 
open  their  hearts  and  let  God  in."  Under  which  our  churches  are 
dwindling  in  character  and  spirituality.  In  two  years,  the  church 
called  a  successor  to  Mr.  Jones,  whose  devotion  to  liberty  was  natural 
to  a  Welshman  and  whose  consecration  to  Christ  made  him  a  New 
Testament  Christian. 

The  succession  of  pastors  to  1821  were:  W.  J.  Pitman,  1779-82; 
John  Rockwell,  1882-87;  J.  Stephens,  1789-93;  D.  Loughboro,  1794; 
A.  Harpending,  1797-1800;  John  Morgan,  supply,  1802;  S.  B.  Harris, 
1808-10;  John  Copper,  1813-21.  In  this  period  of  the  eight  pastors, 
four  were  unworthy  men  holding  office  for  sixteen  years  and  there  were 
nine  years  of  pastoral  destitution.  Despite  these  unpromising  con- 
ditions, the  church  preserved  unity  and  the  heresies  and  immoralities 
alleged  of  these  years  did  not  seriously  impair  its  integrity. 

In  1822,  Rev.  J.  M.  Challis  became  pastor.  His  settlement  was 
an  era  in  the  history  of  the  church.  A  new  epoch  began.  His  piety  was 
diffusive  and  he  had  a  receptive  welcome  among  his  people.  He  was 
ordained  in  December  1822  and  during  sixteen  years  of  happy  and 
of  appreciated  labors,  harvcssed  continuously  for  the  Kingdom  of  God, 
averaging  annually  the  baptism  of  fifteen  converts.  Considering 
the  low  estate  to  which  the  church  had  fallen  in  the  long  time  that 
preceded  the  coming  of  Mr.  Challis,  the  odium  that  attaches  to  Christians 
and  to  the  minister  by  the  defection  of  a  preacher  from  the  purity  of 
truth  and  duty,  the  labors  of  Mr.  Challis  must  be  esteemed  as  an 
especial  endowment  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  Mr.  Challis  did  not  limit 
himself  to  Upper  Freeliold  church,  but  did  good  wherever  he  could. 
"The  Freehold  church  speaks  of  him  as  the  founder  of  it."  Unobstru- 
sive,  of  marked  simplicity  of  character,  the  impress  of  his  piety  was 
felt  everywhere. 

Front  of  the  Yellow  Meeting  House,  the  Second   House  on  this 
Ground,  the  First  Burned  and  Rebuilt 


Another  true  and  noble  man  followed  Mr.  Challis  at  Upper  Free- 
hold, Rev.  L.  G.  Beck  in  1838-43;  William  A.  Roy,  1843-46;  A.  Arm- 
strong, 1847-51;  William  J.  Nice,  1852-55.  Mr.  Nice  was  a  man  of 
pre-eminent  worth.  S.  Sproul,  1855-57;  C.  M.  Deitz,  1858-66;  W.  D. 
Hires,  1867-78;  E.  Loux,  1879-82;  D.  Silver,  1882  to  his  death  in 
December,  1884.  S.  L.  Cox,  1885-87;  J.  A.  Knowlton,  1888-91;  I.  N. 
Earle,  1891-92;  J.  Huffnagle,  1892-96;  S.  L.  Harter,  1896-1904. 

To  1900,  the  church  has  had  twenty-four  pastors.  Of  the  pastors, 
J.  M.  Challis  was  pastor  sixteen  years,  David  Jones,  fourteen  years, 
W.  D.  Hires,  eleven  and  Pastors  Cooper  and  Deitz  each  eight  years. 
Two  churches  have  been  colonized  from  Upper  Freehold,  Jacobstown 
in  1785  and  thirty-two  members  were  dismissed  to  in.stitute  it  and  in 
1834,  ninety  members  to  constitute  the  Freehold  church.  The  pastors 
maintained  regular  appointments  at  both  of  these  places  long  before 
a  church  was  begun  in  either.  At  Jacobstown,  some  of  the  constituents 
of  Middletown  located  at  Jacobstown.  At  Freehold,  Mr.  Challis  laid  the 
foundations  and  really  originated  the  church  there.  Quite  likely  the 
pastors  ministered  at  Bordentown,  as  that  mission  was  identified  with 
Jacobstown.  Two  have  been  licensed  to  preach,  one  of  them  has 
spent  life  in  ministerial  work.  Upper  Freehold  was  incorporated 
six  years  before  its  mother  in  Middletown.  Various  of  its  properties 
were  held  in  trust  by  its  members.  A  dwelling  house  was  transformed 
to  a  place  of  worship,  "The  Yellow  meeting  house,"  the  date  of  its 
building  is  lost.  Another  put  up  in  1737  and  one  at  Jacobstown  in 
1767,  yet  another  at  Cream  Ridge  and  one  at  Imlaystown,  where  the 
parsonage  and  church  grounds  consi-st  of  several  acres.  The  church 
edifice  there  is  large,  modern;  i:)ut  it  was  burned  in  1903.  A  now 
house  was  built  in  1904,  and  supplied  with  all  the  appliances  for 
Christian  work  and  worship,  which  money  and  culture  command. 
Unhappily,  the  railroad  is  a  mile  distant. 

The  church  is  a  rural  body,  isolated  from  commercial  centers. 
Like  Jacobstown,  its  prospective  is  limited.  Other  Baptist  churches 
will  limit  its  field  yet  more.  Four  hundred  and  twenty-eight  have  been 
baptized  into  the  church,  more  than  half  of  them,  were  baptized  by 
Pastor  Challis. 

The  constituency  of  Jacobstown  Baptist  church  allies  it  to  Middle- 
town  church.  Some  of  them  had  been  dismissed  to  constitute  Upper 
Freehold  church  and  others  were  children  and  grandchildren  of  the 
constituents  of  Middletown  church,  forty  years  before  the  Hights- 
to^vn  church  had  been  formed.  Members  of  MiddletowTi 
living  in  Upper  Freehold,  were  among  the  constituents 
of      Hightstown.  They       had       not       moved       from       Middle- 


town,  but  were  living  in  Upper  Freehold,  the  membership  of  the  old 
church  reaching  from  the  Raritan  to  the  ocean  and  from  Atlantic 
Highlands  far  south  of  Upper  Freehold.  The  unity  of  these  Baptists 
was  not  relationship,  but  companionship  in  persecution  and  driven 
in  exile  to  this  new  land  and  again  driven  from  their  new  homes 
rather  than  deny  the  faith  of  the  Lord  Christ. 

Jacobstown  derived  its  name  from  a  "Friend"  (a  Quaker)  named 
Jacob  Andrew,  in  accord  with  the  custom  of  calling  each  other  by  their 
first  name.  William  Penn  addressed  King  Charles  II,  as  "Charles, 
thee  ought,  etc.,"  "Friend  Jacob"  moved  from  Little  Egg  Harbor, 
a  "public  Friend"  or  preacher,  on  a  tour  in  New  Jersey  and  settled 
in  the  compass  of  Burlintgon  monthly  meeting.  He  made  his  home  on 
the  site  of  Jacobstow^l,  where  he  opened  a  store,  built  blacksmith  and 
wheelwright  shops  and  began  Jacobstown.  He  died  there.  Other 
"Friends"  settled  in  the  place.  Affinities  of  belief  in  the  right  to  "civil 
and  religious  liberty"  influenced  Baptists  to  settle  there. 

Morgan  Edwards  says,  "There  were  Baptists  in  these  parts  from 
the  first  settling  of  the  country  members  at  Middletown.  In  process  of 
time  they  increased  and  he  adds  this  increase  made  them  think  of 
becoming  a  separate  society;  the  mother  church  approved  and  released 
the  following  persons."  These  twenty-eight  on  October  19th, 
1785,  constituted  a  church.  Nine  of  them  were  Sextons  and  four  were 
Coxes.  A  house  of  worship  had  been  put  up  by  Jacobstown  in  1767, 
and  partly  finished  the  fifth  meeting  house  erected  for  the  use  of  the 
Upper  Freehold  Church.  The  Bordentowm  mission  went  with  Jacobs- 
town,  Jacobstown  being  nearer  than  Upper  Freehold  and  as  fully 
identified  with  the  mission,  as  the  mother  church.  The  building  at 
Jacobstowai,  being  incomplete  and  unplastered,  remained  unfinished 
for  sixteen  years.  A  substitute  for  a  stove  was  a  huge  brazier  in  the 
center  of  the  building,  filled  with  glowing  charcoal.  Free  access  of 
winds  from  without,  relieved  any  danger  from  the  burning  coal.  No 
doul)t,  foot  stoves  were  in  free  use.  Morgan  Edwards  invariably  said; 
if  a  church  edifice  had  a  stove,  "and  it  had  a  stove."  This  building 
was  completed  and  used  until  replaced  in  1853  by  that  now  in  use. 
The  present  house  of  worship  was  located  where  it  is,  at  the  cemetery, 
by  a  thousand  dollar  subscription,  affording  to  the  church  the  best 
opportunity  to  dwindle  into  nothingness  and  be  a  memorial  of  what 
mischief  a  thousand  dollars  can  do  to  bring  naught  and  to  perpetuate 
the  shadows  of  death. 

For  several  months.  Rev.  Peter  Wilson,  pastor  of  Hightstown 
Baptist  church,  supplied  Jacobstown.  His  labors  were  prospered. 
About  the  end  of  1785,  Rev.  Burgess  AUison  became  pastor,  remaining 


twenty-eight  years,  till  1813.  In  1796  he  gave  his  school  at  Borden- 
town  into  the  charge  of  W.  H.  Staughton.  Mr.  Allison  found  it  necessary 
to  resume  its  care.  But  he  could  not  restore  it.  This  was  the  second 
harm  which  the  cause  of  education  suffered  in  New  Jersey.  Six  other 
schools  followed  in  the  colony,  illustrating  the  persistence  of  New  Jersey 
Baptists  to  provide  for  themselves  the  means  of  culture. 

In  1815,  Jacobstown  church  settled  Rev.  Richard  Proudfoot, 
who  was  pastor  until  1817.  In  the  following  twenty  years,  supplies 
served  Jacobstown  church.  In  this  long  period,  Rev.  J.  M.  Challis 
pastor  of  Upper  Freehold  church  preached  at  Jacobstown  once  in  each 
month  and  attended  to  other  pastoral  duties.  From  the  beginning, 
of  his  ministry  signs  of  a  spiritual  harvest  appeared  at  Jacobstown 
and  the  best  welfare  of  the  church  was  promoted  combining  the  offices 
of  evangelist  and  pastor.  Mr.  Challis  was  a  man  of  rare  worth  and  of 
influence;  an  inspiration  to  the  attainment  of  good.  His  labors  at 
Jacobstown  continued  ten  years  and  when  he  retired,  Rev.  W.  D. 
Hires  was  called  and  at  the  end  of  ^he  year,  when  the  time  of  his  call 
was  expired,  the  church  pressed  him  earnestly  to  stay  and  consenting, 
was  ordained  April  18th,  1835.  To  those  who  knew  Mr.  Hires,  it 
was  not  strange  that  he  was  wanted,  a  devoted  pastor  and  a  preacher 
eminent  for  saying  the  most  in  fewest  words  and  with  a  simplicity?  a 
little  child  could  understand.  He  was  wanted  whenever  he  could  be 

Rev.  C.  J.  Hopkins  became  pastor  in  1837.  A  larger  field  induced 
him  to  leave  in  1838.  His  characteristics  are  referred  in  the  record  of 
his  pastorates  at  Camden,  Bridgeton  and  Salem.  Baptism  was  dis- 
cussed by  his  friends.  Mr.  Hopkins  was  a  Presbyterian,  and  unable 
to  sustain  his  views,  he  appealed  to  his  pastor  who  said  to  him:  "Charley, 
if  your  relations  are  Baptists,  I  advise  you  to  let  them  alone  for  with 
the  Bible  as  their  sole  guide,  they  have  the  best  of  the  argument." 
Amazed  at  this,  he  inquired  of  the  Bible  and  united  with  the  first 
Baptist  church  of  Philadelphia,  under  Pastor  Holcombe  and  was 
licensed  by  them.  (See  History  of  first  Camden  church).  In  1840, 
Rev.  William  Smith  entered  the  pastorate  and  was  pastor  five  years, 
a  good  and  true  man.  Mr.  Smith  lived  at  Columbus  and  alternated 
preaching  at  both  places.  His  missionary  work  was  his  distinction; 
aggression  was  the  law  of  his  piety. 

Mr.  J.  E.  Rue  followed  Mr.  Smith  and  was  ordained  in  January 
1845.  The  meeting  houses  at  Plattsburg  and  Recklesstown  (now 
Chesterfield)  were  built  in  Mr.  Rue's  pastorate.  People  in  these  places 
objected  to  Mr.  Rue's  Baptist  preaching  and  the  trustees  at  Reckless- 
town  locked  him  out  of  the  house.     A  gentleman  named  Reed,  an 


Episcopalian,  sympathized  vnth  the  persecuted  Baptists  and  he  gave 
a  lot  and  a  legacy  from  his  estate  to  build  a  Baptist  church  edifice  in 
RecklesstowTi.  Mr.  Rue  was  pastor  two  years  and  in  the  year  of  his 
resignation,  Rev.  C.  Brinkerhoff  became  pastor  at  Jacobstown  in  1847, 
continuing  till  1851.     These  were  years  of  blessing  and  of  harv^ 

Rev.  J.  M.  Carpenter  followed  immediately  with  scarcely  an  inter- 
mission. Great  gaps  have  stared  at  the  historian  in  the  past. 
With  untiring  pertinacity  this  good  man  gathered  and  classified 
data  and  fact  of  invaluable  historic  material.  Errors  occur  in  his 
work,  but  what  human  effort  is  perfect!  It  has  been  .said  of  Mr.  Car- 
penter "that  he  was  a  walking  biography  of  the  men  of  his  times  and  a 
store  house  of  things  worth  knowing  about  Baptists  and  of  their  con- 
cerns in  New  Jersey  and  in  its  vicinities."  He  was  a  careful  wise  and 
intelligent  secretary  of  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  State  Convention  for 
sixteen  years,  a  longer  period  than  any  other  had  held  the  office.  Pastor 
at  Jacobstown  for  thirteen  years;  revivals  of  special  power  were  enjoyed 
and  a  new  substantial  brick  meeting  house  of  modern  type  was  built 
and  paid  for.  The  only  question  of  dissent  about  it,  was  the  folly 
of  its  location,  which  means  either  the  extinction  of  the  church  or 
another  location  and  a  new  house  in  the  village.  Mr.  Carpenter 
resigned  in  1864.  He  lived  to  be  eighty-five  years  old  and  up  to  his 
last  illness  of  a  few  weeks  continued  the  active  duties  of  his  bu,sy  life. 

Rev.  C.  Kain,  Jr.,  became  pastor  in  October  1864,  and  for  seven 
years  enjoyed  tokens  of  Divine  blessing,  baptizing  one  hundred  and 
five  in  one  year.  While  pastor,  a  parsonage  was  bought  and  paid 
for.  In  January  1871,  fifty-nine  members  were  dismissed  to  organize 
the  Recklesstown  church.  Pastor  Kain  resigned  to  resume  charge  of 
the  church  at  MuUica  Hill  which  he  had  left  to  come  to  Jacobstown; 
without  the  intermission  of  a  Lord's  day. 

Rev.  A.  G.  Thomas  accepted  the  call  to  be  pa.stor,  on  October  1 , 
1871.  Mr.  Thomas  held  a  special  meeting  at  Hornerstown.  One 
hundred  and  eighteen  were  baptized  in  the  winter  of  1873  and  4.  This 
pastorate  like  that  of  Mr.  Kain  was  fruitful  in  enlargement  and  in 
blessing.  Mr.  Thomas  resigned  in  1877.  A  succession  of  pastors  was: 
Rev.  Mr.  Hay,  who  ministered  1878-85;  Rev.  William  Warlow,  1885-88; 
Rev.  W.  E.  Cornell,  1889-1904. 

HornerstowTi  church  was  recognized  in  1897,  wth  thirty-two 
members.  Jacobstown  is  a  rural  church  and  has  an  exchange  of 
natives  for  unsympathetic  foreigners.  These  old  churches  may  become 
mission  fields  unless  endowed  and  the  tide  of  population  is  turned  by 
means  of  the  trolley  roads  and  the  conveniences  of  town  houses  are 
introduced  into  the  country. 


If  the  names  of  "supplies"  arc  omitted,  the  church  has  had  twelve 
pastors.  Mr.  Burgess  Allison,  twenty-sLx  years;  Mr.  Carpenter,  thirteen 
years  and  Mr.  Cornwell,  fifteen  years.  Two  meeting  houses  liave  been 
built,  one  in  1767,  another  in  1853,  to  which  has  been  added  the  applian- 
ces and  conveniences  adapting  it  to  modern  life. 

April  14th,  1821,  is  a  misleading  date  of  early  Baptist  interests 
in  Bordentown.  The  Baptist  house  of  worship  was  built  in  1752, 
on  a  lot,  the  deed  of  which  is  dated  August  5th,  1751,  the  fourth  meeting 
house  used  by  the  Upper  Freehold  Baptist  church  and  erected  fourteen 
years  before  the  mother  church,  of  which  it  was  a  mission,  was 
constituted  Bordentown  was  a  mission  of  Upper  Freehold 
church,  and  then,  when  Jacobstown  church  was  constituted,  was 
identified  with  that  body.  It  might  have  been  the  mother,  rather  than 
the  daughter  of  these  churches  and  the  fourth  daughter  of  the  original 

The  deed  of  the  lot  was  given  to  John  Coward,  Jr.,  Thomas  Cox 
and  Joseph  Borden,  Jr.  John  Coward  Jr.,  was  the  son  of  a  licentiate 
of  Middletown,  who  was  living  in  Imlaystown,  who  had  been  licensed  in 
1738,  to  relieve  Abel  Morgan,  as  had  been  Mr.  Carman  licensed  to  preach 
at  Cranbury  and  Jonathan  Holmes  of  Holmdel  (who  died  at  sea  and 
left  a  legacy  of  four  hundred  pounds  to  Middletown  church).  Thus  if 
Mr.  Morgan  should  be  hindered  from  reaching  these  distant  meetings, 
the  regular  service  would  go  on  and  those  who  had  come  a  long  distance 
would  not  be  disappointed, and  discouraged  at  another  time  from  coming 
to  the  House  of  God.  Thomas  Cox  was  a  descendant  of  a  constituent 
of  Middletown  church.  Joseph  Broden,  Jr.,  is  believed  to  be  a  son  of 
Joseph  Borden,  Sr.,  who  gave  the  ground  for  the  place  of  worship  and 
who  presumably  was  a  Baptist.  The  deed  says  of  Borden,  Cox  and 
Coward,  "who  act  as  agents  for  several  religious  person,  residing  in 
Bordentown,  aforesaid,  and  ye  parts  adjacent,  who  are  members  of 
Christian  congregations,  baptized  by  immersion  upon  a  profession  of 
faith."  It  also  speaks  of  "Certain  well  wishers  who  come  to  hear  ye 
Baptist  ministers,  when  they  preach  in  Bordentown  and  holding  those 
wholesome  principles  contained  in  a  confession  of  faith,  set  forth  by  the 
ministers  and  elders  of  above,  one  hundred  congregations  in  England  and 
Wales,  met  in  London,  Anno  Dom.  1G89."  This  description  allows  no 
doubt  of  the  kind  of  religious  persons  there  were,  nor  of  their  doctri- 
nal ideas. 

Evidently,  there  was  considerable  Baptist  element  in  Bordentown, 
in  and  near  Borden-"  o^\'n  one  hundred  and  fifty  years  ago.  They  were 
also  people  of  means  and  of  enterprise.  The  house  they  built  is  de- 
scribed by  a  later  pastor  as  "a  grand  edifice  in  its  day;  its  roof  hipped 


in  imposing  grandeur;  its  walls  stout  enough  for  a  fortress;  in  its  external 
appearance  beautiful  in  plainness;  its  internal  arrangements  a  model 
of  convenience  for  those  days;  its  pulpit  decently  elevated  to  a  dizzy 

There  is  a  lapse  of  local  information  about  Baptist  matters  in 
Bordentown  for  several  years.  Some  events  happened  however, 
of  very  considerable  moment.  One  was,  that  Burgess  Allison,  born  in 
Bordentowni  in  August  1753,  became,  eventually,  an  important  char- 
acter 1753.  When  sixteen  years  old,  he  united  with  the  Upper  Freehold 
church  by  baptism.  At  once,  he  began  religious  meetings  in  Borden- 
tO'ftTi.     This  seems  to  be  the  origin  of  the  mission  there. 

Preparing  for  college  he  entered  Browai  University  and  was  aided 
by  the  Hubb's  legacy,  (of  Hopewell).  "Graduating  from  college,  he 
returned  to  Bordentown  and  opened  a  school  about  1778  or  79.  Stu- 
dents from  every  colony  and  state,  from  Spain,  France,  West  Indies 
and  South  America  flocked  to  his  school.  Young  men  preparing  for 
the  ministry  and  for  professional  life  were  drawn  to  Bordentown  as 
a  center  of  choice,  culture  and  advantage,  crowding  the  halls  of  the 
large  building  he  had  erected."  Mr.  Allison  was  a  natural  genius  of 
studious  habits.  Teaching  was  his  calling.  His  wide  reputation  and 
the  eminence  of  his  school  gave  him  a  commanding  position  in  all 
educational  circles.  Having  been  ordained  in  1781,  he  was  called  to 
be  pastor  at  Jacobstown,  about  the  end  of  1785.  This,  virtually  was  the 
end  of  his  career.  Although  retaining  connection  with  his  school  and 
devoting  his  energies  to  it.  Both  the  church  and  himself  made  a 
mistake  in  his  becoming  a  pastor.  Had  he  given  himself  to  the  work 
for  which  he  was  fitted,  he  might  have  remedied  the  crime  of  the  removal 
of  Hopewell  school  and  accomplished  for  Baptists  in  New  Jersey,  Penn- 
sylvania and  New  York,  what  Princeton  has  wrought  for  Presbyterian 
in  this  country.  The  congregations  Mr.  Allison  gathered  in  Bordentown 
and  the  converts  he  baptized  are  gone  and  nothing  remains  of  his  work 
there,  other  than  the  valuable  site  of  the  Baptist  church  and  that  was 
gotten  before  he  was  born. 

Mr.  Allison  was  an  instance  of  the  wasteage  of  choice  gifts  of  mind, 
of  heart,  of  comprehension  of  himself  and  of  culture  by  a  mistaken 
directon;  and  yet  there  must  not  be  a  misapprehension  of  his  motive  or 
of  his  purpose  to  do  the  most  good  and  to  accomplish  the  most  for  God 
humanity.  He  was  truly  a  Godly  man  of  the  highest  aims  and  thorough- 
ly Christian  endeavors.  Men  of  his  own  times  ought  to  have  influenced 
him  to  take  the  place  for  which  he  was  qualified  by  both  nature  and 
culture.  However,  educated  men  often  lack  acquaintance  with  the 
world  and  men,  that  impairs  their  judgement  of  things,  outside  of 


their  routine.  Strange  things  occurred  in  the  pastoral  care  by  Mr. 
Allison  of  Jacobstown  church.  One,  the  membership  of  Staughton 
and  his  wife  in  Jacobstown  church,  distant  twelve  miles  from  Borden- 
town,  without  either  a  "letter  of  dismission"  or  an  "experience"and 
despite  a  rule  of  that  body  "that  all  business  was  to  be  done  at  Jacobs- 
town."  It  was  in  Mr.  Allison,  the  same  lack  of  judgement  as  made 
Jacobstown  the  center  of  his  work,  instead  of  Bordentown.  To  us  it 
is  a  wonder  that  a  Baptist  church  had  not  been  constituted  at  Bordentown 
rather  than  at  Jacobstown.  The  pastor  lived  there;  the  finished  house 
was  there;  there  too,  were  the  converts  the  congregations  which  Mr. 
Allison  had  gathered  and  the  school  also.  As  it  was,  he  was  com- 
pelled to  sacrifice  his  home  work;  divert  his  influence  to  Jacobstown. 
Jacobstown  gained  but  little  from  his  long  pastorate  of  twenty-eight 
years  and  Bordentown  so  much,  that  it  was  written  in  1813,  the 
year  of  Mr.  Allison's  resignation  at  Jacobstown,  "The  Baptist  interest 
in  Bordentown  had  evidently  died  away."  Despite  Mr.  Allison's  splen- 
did natural  gifts  and  his  eminent  qualities  for  usefulness,  his  life  was 
a  comparative  loss,  wholly  by  his  own  failure  to  recognize  his  native 

Not  only  in  1813,  but  in  1818,  there  is  added  testimony  of  the  low 
condition  of  Baptist  affairs  at  Bordentown.  Howard  Malcom,  being 
a  student  at  Princeton,  visited  the  place  and  preached.  His  diary  in 
October  has  this  entry:  "Bordentown  is  proverbial  for  neglect  of  re- 
ligion. Found  matters  deplorable.  Baptist  is  the  only  house  of 
worship  except  Friends  (Quakers),  very  small,  in  bad  repair,  seldom 
used,  only  five  or  six  Baptists  in  the  place.  The  only  two  male  mem- 
bers take  no  active  part.  I  suggested  a  Sunday  school  in  town  but 
found  no  encouragement."  Up  to  1789,  Mr.  Allison  had  baptized 
sixty-two  persons.  What  a  magnificent  opportunity  he  had  thrown 
away!  Mr.  Malcom  took  collections  in  the  next  November  to  repair  the 
house  of  worship.  He  aranged  for  regular  services,  in  October  organized 
a  Sunday  school.  A  Sunday  school  in  1819  was  a  great  rarity,  some 
esteemed  it  the  "Devil's net."  Not  only  antinomians  but  good  men  and 
women;  good  pastors  opposed  them  as  dangerous.  Mr.  Malcom 
served  in  his  outlay  of  time,  of  travel,  of  labor  without  a  penny  of 
compensation.  Since  then,  he  has  had  his  reward  in  the  companion- 
ship of  the  Master. 

Another  student,  S.  W.  Lynd  followed,  gathered  twenty  Baptists 
who  on  April  14th,  1821,  constituted  themselves  the  Baptist  church  of 
Bordentown.  Mr.  Lynd  was  called  to  be  pastor  and  was  ordained. 
He  was  pastor  for  three  years,  resigning  in  February'  1824.  In  that 
year,   Rev.   Thomas   Larcombe   was  settled  as  pastor  continuing  till 


1827.  His  worth  as  a  man  and  his  able  ministn'  won  a  large  place  for 
him  in  the  hearts  of  his  brethren. 

M.  J.  Rhees  was  jointly  pastor  of  first  Trenton  and  of  Borden- 
town,  for  three  or  four  years.  The  dates  are  indefinite.  Bordentown 
made  a  strong  effort  to  secure  his  undixdded  ser\'ices.  A  like  con- 
dition prevailed  at  Trenton.  With  the  end  of  1833,  he  decided  to 
limit  himself  to  Trenton.  He  was  a  staunch  temperance  advocate. 
At  Bordento'mi  in  1838,  the  church  made  total  abstinence  a  test 
of  membership  and  included  members  added  before  the  adoption  of 
the   rule. 

Immediately,  Rev.  J.  C.  Harrison  settled  at  Bordentown  on  April 
1st,  1834  and  was  pastor  ten  years.  In  person  and  manner,  Mr.  Harri- 
son was  a  fac-similie  of  President  Washington's  portraits.  The  ten 
years  of  Mr.  Harrison's  charge  were  years  of  growth  on  all  lines.  He 
held  that  a  pure  church  was  an  absolute  condition  to  its  welfare.  He 
believed  that  discipline  was  the  line  of  righteousness  with  a  small 
mixture  of  mercy.  A  wealthy  member  was  guilty  of  gross  sin.  An 
allusion  to  the  effect  of  his  exclusion  on  the  pastor's  salary  startled  Mr. 
Harrison,  whereupon,  he  thundered,  "Exclude  him.  I'U  pay  his 
part  of  the  salary  m3^seK."  Another  case  was  the  exclusion  of  a 
woman  for  getting  into  a  passion  with  her  husband  and  sending  for 
laudunum  and  threatening  to  kill  herself;  many  protestations  of 
penitence  were  necessary  before  she  was  restored. 

Pastor  Harrison  was  a  close  reader  of  carefully  written  sermons. 
He  and  Rev.  C.  W.  Mulford  were  in\ated  to  conduct  their  "yearly 
meeting."  Both  were  in  the  pulpit  and  Mr.  Harrison  was  to  preach 
on  Lord's  Day  morning  taking  his  manuscript  and  laying  it  on  the 
seat  in  the  pulpit.  The  hymn  before  the  sermon  was  being  sung  and 
Mr.  Harrison  turned  to  get  his  manuscript,  but  it  was  gone  and  not 
to  be  found.  Mr.  Harrison  demanded  it  of  Mr.  Mulford  and  he  protested 
his  ignorance  of  it.  Their  altercation  reached  "fever  heat."  The  song 
was  done  and  the  congregation  waiting.  There  was  no  alternative 
and  Mr.  Harrison  had  to  go  on.  Word  has  come  to  us  that  it  was  one 
of  the  best  sermons  Mr.  Harrison  ever  preached.  Search  was  made 
for  the  document  and  it  was  found  in  a  crack,  made  by  the  seat  that 
had  shrunk  from  the  wall.  Mr.  Mulford's  honor  was  ^^ndicated  and 
Mr.  Harrison  learned  something  he  had  not  known  of  his  strength.  A 
moral  is:     "Let  preachers  not  depend  on  'paper  wings.'  " 

In  1834,  the  old  meeting  house  which  had  been  in  use  for  eighty- 
two  years  was  torn  down  and  a  new  building  erected.  The  basement 
of  the  new  house  was  ready  for  use  in  December  1834.     The  upper 


room  wa3  dedicated  in  July  1836.  Special  revivals  wore  enjoyed  in 
1839,  1840,  and  1842. 

In  thi.s  pastorate,  one  was  licensed.  Another  member  was  or- 
dained. A  new  sanctuary  was  built  and  the  membership  was  doubled. 
Mr.  Harrison's  resignation  was  declined,  but  as  he  insisted  on  it,  it 
was  accepted.  Since  Mr.  Harrison's  charge,  the  Bordentown  church 
has  constantly  climbed  to  a  higher  plain.  Has  his  maintenance  of  a 
rigid  discipline  any  relation  to  its  future  growth  on  all  right  lines. 

The  succession  of  pastors  has  been:  B.  N.  Leach,  1844-46;  W.  D. 
Hires,  1846-49;  S.  Sproul,  1849-52;  B.  H.  Lincoln,  1852-54;  W.  S. 
Goodno,  1855-57;  A.  P.  Buel,  1857-67.  While  pastor,  a  beautiful 
and  spacious  sanctuary  was  built  and  dedicated  in  March  1861.  Many 
were  added  to  the  church  by  baptism.  J.  W.  Custis,  1867-70;  L. 
Burrows,  1871-76.  Debts  were  cancelled  and  an  annual  average  of 
twenty-eight  baptisms.  H.  W.  Jones,  1877-80;  W.  L.  Kolb,  1880-84; 
C.  E.  Cordo,  1885-91.  In  this  pastorate,  a  parsonage  was  bought.  A 
chapel  was  built  at  "White  Hill,"  and  a  mission  begun.  The  Park 
street  mission  was  also  maintained;  a  chapel  at  Fieldsboro  mission 
was  dedicated  and  an  annual  average  of  twenty  persons  baptized. 
Rev.  J.  Lisk,  1892-1900.  The  varied  interests  of  the  church  have  had 
effective  development.  In  May,  1892,  their  beautiful  church  edifice 
was  destroyed  by  fire.  It  was  shortly  replaced  by  a  larger,  more  stately 
and  substantial  meeting  house,  comparing  favorably  with  others  in  the 
state;  which  was  dedicated  in  1895.  The  benevolence  of  the  church 
has  been  maintained  despite  the  large  outlay  for  their  church  edifice. 

The  church  has  had  sixteen  pastors.  The  work  of  Howard  Malcom 
recovering  Baptist  interests  in  Bordentown  must  not  be  overlooked. 
The  foundations  he  laid  in  1821  are  still  built  on.  Two  pastors,  Messrs. 
Harrison  and  Buel  each  stayed  ten  years.  Both  were  eras  in  its  history. 
Four  houses  of  worship  have  been  in  use.  One  built  in  1752,  when  or 
soon  after,  the  Bordentown  church  ought  to  have  been  formed.  Another 
in  1836,  a  third  in  1861  and  the  fourth  in  1892-5,  to  take  the  place  of 
the  third  burned.  These  buildings  by  their  larger  size  and  appoint- 
ments marked  the  growth  of  the  church.  Mr.  Allison  was  a  man  of 
brilliant  parts,  but  he  was  deficient  in  executive  ability  and  foresight. 
An  average  man  of  practical  common  sense  would  not  have  allowed 
Bordento-\\Ti  Baptist  interests  to  have  come  to  the  utter  ruin  which  Mr. 
Malcom  found  them  in,  especially  after  the  promise  of  Mr.  Allison's 
young  manhood. 



Mr.  David  Jones,  a  licentiate  of  the  original  Middletown  church, 
occasionally  preached  at  Freehold  to  relieve  Aljel  Morgan  in  charge 
of  that  part  of  his  field  and  tradition  asserts  that  he  estaljlished  a 
mission  at  Freehold  in  1762  and  after  the  organization  of  LTpper  Free- 
hold church  with  Mr.  Jones,  as  its  first  pastor,  he  maintained  the  station 
at  Freehold.  It  is  believed  that  under  his  administration  a  house  of 
worship  was  built  in  an  isolated  place  about  a  mile  from  Freehold.  It 
is  also  affirmed  by  tradition  that  Abel  Morgan  often  preached  at  Free- 
hold, a  number  of  members  of  Middletown  church  living  in  its  vicinity. 
Clusters  of  members  of  that  church  and  stations  for  preaching  were  all 
over  "East  Jersey"  and  pastors  were  often  absent  from  home  for  months 
responding  to  calls  of  the  kind  and  usually  had  some  licentiate  to  supply 
their  pulpit  while  absent.  Rev.  J.  M.  Challis  afterwards  pastor  at 
Upper  Freehold,  alluding  to  Freehold  said:  "This  neighborhood 
was  left  awfully  destitute  of  Baptist  preaching." 

Rev.  John  Cooper  in  1813,  settled  at  Upper  Freehold  and  in  the 
eight  years  of  his  charge,  preached  once  a  month  on  a  week  day  in  the 
Baptist  house  near  Freehold.  Some  converts  were  made  and  baptized. 
Rev.  Mr.  Challis  followed  in  1822  and  continued  the  regular  monthly 
week  appointment.  He  writes  of  this  period:  "I  found  in  the  neigh- 
borhood of  Freehold,  a  very  feeble  and  disorganized  state."  There 
was  but  "one  male  member  and  a  few  feeble,  but  pious  sisters.  The 
meeting  house  was  almost  in  ruins  and  the  congregation  scattered  and 
pealed."  This  statement  is  not  a  surprise,  considering  the  location 
of  the  place  of  worship,  a  mile  from  the  town,  up  a  long  lane  away  from 
anywhere  in  which  a  monthly  week  day  meeting  was  held  and  the  house 
repulsive  within  and  without.  Very  soon  Mr.  Challis  had  the  house 
repaired,  converts  increased,  the  monthly  meetings  were  multiplied 
and  Baptists  grew  to  number  one  hundred.  Mr.  Challis  continued 
these  labors  for  twelve  years. 

In  1834,  ninety-two  members  of  Upper  Freehold  were  dismissed 
to  constitute  the  Freehold  Baptist  church.  Two  others  made  the 
number  ninety-four,  who  in  November  1834,  constituted  themselves 
the  Baptist  church  of  Freehold.  These  disciples  adopted  a  pledge  of 
"entire  abstinence  from  making,  vending  or  using  ardent  spirits  as  an 
article  of  luxury  or  living."     In  March,  1835,  Mr.  Challis  resigned. 


disappointing  the  P'ruehold  Baptists,  who  anticipated  retaining  his 
services  jointly  with  Upper  Freehold. 

A  succession  of  pastors  was  C.  J.  Hopkins,  1835-37;  P.  Simonson, 
1837-8;  William  Maul,  1838-43;  J.  Beldon,  1844-54.  His  pastorate 
wrought  a  great  change  in  the  present  and  the  future  outlook  of  the 
church.  From  seclusion  and  limitation  it  came  to  be  a  power  and 
to  have  influence  in  the  community.  This  change  was  effected  by  u 
new,  large  and  suitable  sanctuary  in  the  town  of  Freehold.  The  writer 
invited  an  exchange  with  Pastor  Beldon  purposely  to  preach  in  the 
old  house  and  thus  to  know  it  and  the  vast  change  from  the  old  to  the 
new.  The  highest  evidence  of  the  noble  manhood  and  piety  of  Pastor 
Challis  was  his  courage  to  endure  and  his  faith  in  God  to  prosper  his 
word  in  the  long  service  in  a  field  where  he  had  so  great  discourage- 
ments. The  new  house  was  a  fitting  temple  for  worship,  modern,  con- 
venient and  quite  equal  to  any  other  in  the  town.  Mr.  Beldon  was  a 
happy  pastor  to  accomplish  this  change  to  gather  a  large  congregation 
and  to  develop  the  church  along  the  lines  of  Christian  work  and  service. 
Going  to  Freehold,  under  the  existing  conditions,  meant  failure  for 
himself  and  an  almost  useless  strife  of  the  church  for  life.  Leaving 
Freehold,  the  church  and  its  large  congregation  was  the  equal  of  any 
other  in  its  social  and  spiritual  influences.  Mr.  Beldon  was  brought 
up  in  the  first  Baptist  church  of  Philadelphia  under  such  pastors  as 
Henry  Holcombe,  and  W.  T.  Brantley,  St.,  and  it  was  not  strange  that 
he  proved  his  training.  An  unpretentious  man,  not  a  great  preacher, 
but  a  good  and  true  man  in  whom  confidence  was  safely  reposed,  his 
personal  worth  gave  him  hold  on  the  community  and  crowned  his 
ministry  with  success. 

Succeeding  pastors  were  W.  D.  Hires,  1855-59;  T.  R.  Taylor,  1859- 
62.  The  nation  was  undergoing  the  throes  anticipating  the  Civil  War. 
The  slavery  question  was  a  dynamite  bomb  when  mooted.  Monmouth 
County  of  which  Freehold  was  the  county  seat  was  a  warming  place 
for  politicians  of  a  certain  type.  Mr.  Taylor  had  opinions  and  none 
knew  that  he  had  ever  been  afraid  to  do  or  to  speak  as  his  conscience 
enjoined,  and  on  the  Sunday  morning,  before  John  Brown  was  hung, 
Mr.  Taylor  prayed  for  him.  A  proper  thing  to  do  for  one  about  to  die. 
But,  "it  was  the  last  feather"  and  an  unpardonable  sin  to  the  kind 
of  politicians  that  then  influenced  public  opinion  in  Monmouth  county. 
Soon  after  his  prayer,  Mr.  Taylor  resigned,  having  accepted  a  call 
elsewhere  and  was  able  to  announce  at  his  resignation:  "that  having 
accepted  a  call  he  resigned  his  charge  at  Freehold."  Nevertheless, 
there  were  many  loyal  men  who  heartily  sympathized  with  Mr.  Taylor 
in  Monmouth  County,  but  they  were  in  the  minority.     While  pastor 


for  three  years,   Mr.   Taylor  enjoyed  unusual  prosperity  in  winning 

On  the  same  day  in  which  Mr.  Taylor  rel  ired  from  Freehold,  Pastor 
D.  S.  Parmelee  began  his  charge.  Pastor  Parmelee  was  true  to  his 
convictions  of  truth  and  duty.  But  he  chose  times  for  speech,  having 
respect  for  conditions.  While  pastor,  the  house  of  worship  was  en- 
larged and  conveniences  for  worship  were  added.  lie  had  the  longest 
pastorate  in  the  histor}'  of  the  church  only  excepting  that  of  Mr.  Jones, 
chat  of  Mr.  Jones  being  before  the  constitution  of  the  Freehold  church. 
Mr.  Parmelee  closed  his  pastorate  in  ^hc  fall  of  1875.  Rev.  H.  G. 
Mason,  1875-80;  L.  B.  Chase,  1881-1883;  H.  F.  Stillwell,  ordained  in 
1884,  continued  till  1894;  a  new  house  of  worship  supplanted  the  old 
one;  the  member-ship  increased  rapidly;  Theodore  Hcisig,  1894-1902. 

The  church  has  had  eleven  pastors.  Of  them,  Mr.  Beldon  served 
ten  years;  Mr.  Parmelee,  thirteen  3'ears;  Mr.  Stillwell,  ten  years.  Mr. 
Challis  of  his  twelve  years  was  pastor  after  the  church  organized  only 
five  months  and  Mr.  Jones  preached  at  Freehold  1762-1813,  about 
fifty  years,  once  each  month.  Virtually,  four  meeting  houses  have 
been  erected.  When  the  first  was  built  is  unknown,  only  that  it  was 
erected  while  Mr.  Jones  was  pastor  at  Upper  Freehold,  probably  before 
1766,  and  was  in  use  for  nearly  eighty  years.  The  second  building 
was  put  up  under  Mr.  Beldon  in  about  1845.  The  third  house  was 
built  under  Mr.  Parmelee  and  was  an  extension  and  a  great  improve- 
ment on  the  former  structure.  The  fourth,  under  Mr.  Stillwell  was 
dedicated  in  1890. 

No  history  of  Freehold  church  is  complete  without  allusion  to 
Deacon  H.  Ely.  When  he  resigned  his  Treasurership,  he  had  held  the 
office  for  forty  years  and  at  his  death  been  a  deacon  of  the  church 
forty-five  years.  His  mother  was  a  remarkable  woman.  (See  under 
Holmdel  incidents  of  this  wonderful  woman).  Her  sons  were  men  of 
lofty  spiritual  statu.  Having  had  six  sons  and  one  daughter,  three 
brothers  married  three  sisters,  each  sister  was  identified  with  another 
denomination,  and  each  became  Baptists.  Their  pre-eminence  in  good 
things  is  known  to  the  pastors  and  churches  with  which  they  were 
associated.  The  daughter  was  like  to  her  mother  and  her  husband 
was  an  officer  of  the  church  when  he  died.  As  was  almost  universal  in 
early  times  there  was  a  distillery  on  the  farm  near  Freehold.  Its 
machinery  was  taken  to  the  Holmdel  farm,  but  it  rotted  where  first 
laid,  the  mother's  plea  prevailing  against  its  use.  Of  one  of  these  sons, 
(said  to  the  pastor)  by  a  profane  godless  neighbor:  "If  I  had  a  million 
dollars,  I  would  not  hesitate  to  put  it  in  his  hands  for  keeping,  without 
a  scrap  of  paper  or  security,  sure  that  when  I  wanted  it,  I  would  get  it." 


Thia  aon  had  Ijceu  a  deacon  for  thirty  years  and  in  that  time  had  not 
missed  a  communion  till  his  last  illness.  When  one  of  these  brothers 
died  insolvent,  and  widows  and  orphans  would  have  lost  their  all, 
another  brother  mortgaged  his  estate  and  paid  the  indebtedness  of 
that  brother.  Surely,  these  were  giants  of  honor,  godliness  and  truth. 
Deacon  H.  Ely  of  Freehold  was  as  noble,  godly  and  true  as  others  of 
his  brothers  as  the  writer  well  knows  by  personal  knowledge  and  had 
experience  of  his  rare  worth  and  devotion  to  the  best  interests  of 
humanity,  justifying  the  higliest  appreciation  of  man. 

The  Howell  church  (now  Ardcna)  was  named  after  the  township. 
Pastors  of  the  Upper  Freehold  church  had  a  station  at  Howell  many 
years  since.  Rev.  D.  Jones,  the  first  pastor  of  Upper  Freehold  preached 
at  Howell,  several  years  before  1766.  Results  of  his  labors  must  have 
justified  the  including  of  Howell  in  their  field.  There  may  have  been 
Baptists  among  the  early  settlers,  members  of  Middletown  church  and 
the  early  converts  joined  there;  when  Upper  Freehold  was  organized 
and  Freehold  was  identified  with  it,  converts  united  there.  Howell 
is  about  six  miles  east  of  Freehold. 

As  population  increased,  a  Sunday  school  and  social  meetings 
were  begun  in  1860.  Twenty-five  members  of  Freehold  Baptist  church 
were  dismissed  in  1860  to  constitute  the  Howell  church.  Rev.  H. 
Wescott  was  the  first  pastor  remaining  five  years.  A  work  of  grace 
was  enjoyed  and  a  house  of  worship  begun  which  was  completed  in  1861. 
When  he  resigned,  the  membership  of  the  church  was  one  himdred 
and  five  and  all  debts  were  paid.  Brought  up  to  business  habits  and 
having  a  private  income,  he  gave  the  benefit  of  these  to  churches,  of 
which  he  was  pastor  and  ordinarily  preferred  young  and  needy  churches. 
For  such,  lie  usually  secured  a  house  of  worship  and  the  payment  of  all 
debts  against  them.  Judging  by  his  course  in  a  long,  ministerial 
career  of  sixty  and  more  years,  it  is  doubtful  if  he  would  have  accepted 
a  call  to  be  pastor  of  a  church  able  to  care  for  itself. 

Pastors  following  were:  D.  B.  Jutton,  1865-69;  A.  J.  Wilcox,  1870; 
C.  G.  Gurr,  1871-74;  E.  S.  Browe,  1874-79;  William  Archer,  1880-82; 
H.  Wescott,  1882-1904.  A  second  pastorate  of  eighteen  years  at  Howell 
was  had.  Mr.  Wescott  was  ordained  in  1842.  The  writer  then  a  licen- 
tiate, recalls  that  himself  is  the  only  survivor  of  the  ministers  present. 
Mr.  Wescott  is  still  (r904)  in  the  active  discharge  of  the  duties  of  pastor 
at  Howell,  at  an  age  of  ninety  or  more  years. 

Rev.  W.  D.  Hires  settled  at  Holmdel  in  1836,  (the  "Upper  Con- 
gregation", as  the  church  minute  book  styles  it),  while  the  "Lower 
Congregation"  (as  it  is  styled  in  the  miruite  book  of  the  church)  kept 
"Father  Roberts"  for  pastor.  Mr.  Hires  made  stations  at  Keyport, 


Matawau  and  Marlboro  until  churches  Avere  organized  at  Keyport  and 
at  Matawan.  His  successors  continued  preaching  at  Marlboro  jointly 
with  the  pastors  at  Freehold.  Miss  Ella  G.  Herbert,  a  member  of  the 
Freehold  Baptist  church  gave  a  legacy  of  five  hundred  dollars  for  the 
building  of  a  house  of  worship  at  Marlboro.  The  bequest  was  not 
used  till  1865,  when  her  brother,  O.  C.  Herbert,  bought  a  shop  in  Marl- 
boro and  moving  it  to  a  suitable  place,  fitted  it  for  a  select  school. 

In  June,  1865,  Rev.  Mr.  Parmelee,  pa.stor  of  the  Baptist  church  in 
Freehold  formed  a  Sunday  school  in  this  building.  At  its  opening,  it 
had  fourteen  scholars  and  six  teachers.  Mr.  Parmelee  provided  all 
needful  appliances  for  the  school  and  made  a  monthly  appointment  for 
preaching.  Mr.  C.  D.  Warner,  a  licentiate  of  Holmdel  chur  h  also  made 
a  monthly  appointment  to  preach.  In  the  fall  of  1865,  plans  were 
adopted  to  build  a  house  of  worship.  Mr.  O.  C.  Herbert  of  Marlboro, 
one  from  Freehold,  two  from  Holmdel,  were  appointed  a  building  com- 
mittee and  limited  to  an  expenditure  of  two  thousand  dollars  for  the 
edifice.  Pastors  Wilson  of  Holmdel,  and  Slater  of  Matawan  preached 
on  the  vacant  afternoons,  making  a  daily  service.  On  February, 
1867,  the  meetings  were  removed  to  the  basement  of  the  new  house 
of  wor-ship  and  on  the  16th  of  May,  1869,  thirty-one  Baptists  constituted 
the  Marlboro  Baptist  church.  The  dedication  of  the  house  of  worship 
and  of  the  recognition  of  the  church  occurred  on  May  25th,  1869.  In 
October  26th,  1869,  Mr.  E.  C.  Romine  was  ordained  as  an  evangelist. 
The  occasion  of  the  ordination  being  a  series  of  meetings  conducted  by 
Mr.  Romine,  and  some  of  the  converts  wished  him  to  baptize  them. 
The  one  house  of  worship  is  now  in  use. 

The  order  of  pastors  have  been:  George  Johnson,  1870-71;  Laid 
aside  by  illness.  S.  L.  Cox,  1872-73;  J.  Thorn,  1873-74;  B.  C.  Morse, 
1874-76;  died  in  April,  1876;  S.  L.  Cox,  second  pastorate,  1876-78; 
J.  J.  Baker,  1879-87;  L.  G.  Appleby,  1888-9;  L.  G.  Appleby,  second 
pastorate,  1891-92;  W.  N.  Smith,  1894-98;  C.  H.  Sherman,  1899-1900. 
Two  of  these  have  had  a  second  charge  and  one  has  died  while  pastor. 
One  retired  on  account  of  illness.  Another  died  on  account  of  age  and 
this  was  his  longest  pastorate.  The  outlook  is  not  more  inspiring 
than  other  country  churches.  Foreigners  are  supplanting  Americans  in 
rural  districts  and  superstition  and  ignorance  ensnares  and  blinds 

Hornerstown  Baptist  church  was  an  outgrowth  of  Jacobstown 
church.  Pastor  Hires  of  Upper  Freehold  had  begun  a  mission  there  in 
1872.  Mrs.  Deacon  Goldy,  living  in  the  village  had  previously 
begun  a  Sunday  school,  which  may  have  led  to  the  mission.  Rev.  Mr. 
Thomas  of  Jacobstown  in  1873,  took  hold  of  the  mission,  being  nearer 


to  Jacobstown  than  to  Upper  Freehold  and  held  a  series  of  meetings 
in  the  school  house  and  sevent(!en  were  baptized  and  joined  Jacobstown 
Churcli.  The  scliool  house  was  locked  and  the  meetings  ended.  It 
was  not  objected  to,  that  the  people  were  converted,  but  to  their  being 
Baptists.  When  thus  shut  out  of  the  school  house.  Deacon  J.  Goldy 
opened  his  house  for  the  meetings. 

Later,  the  resident  Baptists  bought  a  store  house,  the  connnunity 
uniting  and  paying  for  the  property.  Meetings  were  held  there  until 
the  church  edifice  was  completed.  In  1890,  a  local  "mite  society" 
was  formed  to  build  a  house  of  worship.  The  society  began  the  house 
in  May,  1891,  and  completed  the  unique  and  beautiful  sanctuary  in 
September,  1894.  It  was  a  rare  instance  of  enterprise  and  of  piety  in 
so  few  Baptists  undertaking  so  noble  a  work.  But  little  financial  aid 
from  abroad  was  received.  Credit  for  the  success  of  the  movement 
is  wholly  due  to  the  "mite  society,"  the  officers  of  which  were:  B.  II. 
Harker,  president;  Miss  Belle  Harker,  secretary;  Miss  Ida  Quicksill, 
treasurer;  William  Harker,  Jr.,  William  L.  Hopkins  and  A.  E.  Harker 
were  the  building  committee. 

The  church  was  organized  in  March  1897,  nearly  three  years  after 
the  dedication  of  the  house  of  worship.  Twenty-nine  members,  twenty- 
eight  of  them  from  Jacobstown  church  constituted  the  church.  Rev. 
C.  M.  Sherman  was  the  first  pastor  for  one  year,  from  October  1897. 
Rev.  A.  E.  Harker  settled  in  1898.  Both  of  these  were  ordained  at 
Hornerstown  at  the  same  time.  Rev.  A.  E.  Harker  was  one  of  the 
building  committee  that  erected  the  church  edifice  and  a  brother  to 
the  other  Harker  on  that  committee  and  to  Miss  Harker,  secretary  of 
the  "Mite  Society"  and  organist  in  the  choir.  The  old  time  practice  of 
our  churches  calling  one  of  their  members  weis  thus  modernized.  Mr. 
Harker  was  paslor  through  1900,  and  (1904)  is  pastor  in  Camden.  - 

These  men,  known  and  proved,  were  good  and  useful  pastors. 
Ashton  and  Burrows  of  Middletown,  Stelle  and  Runyan  of  Piscataway, 
Tomkins  and  Walton  at  Moristown,  Benjamin  Miller  of  Scotch  Plains, 
Moses  Edwards  of  Northfield,  Robert  Kelsay,  Job  Sheppard  at  Cohansie 
and  Salem,  Carman  and  Wilson  at  Hightstown,  Southworth  at  Wan- 
tage, Boswell  and  Allen  at  Burlington  verify  the  wisdom  of  the  choice 
of  these  men.  Necessarily,  the  Hornerstown  church  will  be  a  feeder 
to  cities,  to  manufacturing  and  commercial  centers,  sharing  with  rural 
churches,  the  experiences  of  parting  with  the  active  and  efficient  mem- 
bers that  mean  development  and  excite  inspiration.  There  is  the 
greatest  need  of  such  in  the  country  churches  for  the  training  of  the 
foreign  element,  Christianizing  and  Americanizing  it. 



The  Pittsgrove  Church  owes  its  early  organization  to  the  cultivation 
of  its  field  by  Cohansie  church.  Morgan  Edwards  writes:  "Some  of 
the  first  settlers  in  this  part  of  the  country  were  Baptists.  Particularly 
the  Reeds,  the  Elwells,  the  Paulins,  the  Wallings,  the  Churchmans; 
some  from  New  England.  These  were  visited  by  the  ministers  of 
Cohansie  and  some  others,  particularly  since  they  became  a  branch  of 
that  church." 

In  1742,  a  house  by  thirty  by  twenty-six  feet  wa«  built  on  a  lot 
of  one  acre  given  by  Henry  Paulin.  The  deed  is  dated  February  12th, 
1742.  It  is  well  finished  and  the  communion  is  administered  the 
fourth  Sunday  in  every  other  month.  The  families  belonging  to  the 
congregation  are  about  seventy-two,  whereof,  eighty-one  persons  are 
baptized  "  The  church  had  also  a  plantation  of  about  sixty  acres,  with 
a  good  house  on  it.     The  deed  bears  date  May  12th,  1762. 

This  colony  is  said  to  have  been  companions  of  Sir  Robert  Carr  in 
1665,  settling  at  Old  Man's  Creek.  These  companies  joined  Cohansie 
church.  The  mother  church  made  preaching  stations  and  formed 
branches  in  these  localities.  Nathaniel  Jenkins,  pastor  at  Cohansie, 
especially  interested  himself  in  cherishing  the  Pittsgrove  branch,  which 
included  Baptists  for  miles  distant.  In  1741,  Pastor  Kelsay  devoted 
himself  to  Pittsgrove  and  built  a  meeting  house  the  next  year.  He 
was  not  ordained  until  1750.  Immediately  after  the  death  of  Pastor 
Jenkins  and  in  compliance  with  his  dying  request,  the  Cohansie  church 
called  Mr.  Kelsay  to  be  pastor.  He  had  been  twelve  years  at  Pittsgrove 
and  was  living  in  his  own  liouse.  His  attachment  to  the  people  and 
to  the  place  where  he  had  labored  so  long,  were  very  strong  and  he 
declined  the  call.  Besides,  he  was  anxious  that  Rev.  Job  Sheppard 
should  be  pastor  at  Cohansie.  A  fire  consumed  his  dwelling  and  again, 
Cohansie  renewed  the  call  and  Mr.  Kelsay  yielded  and  was  pastor 
thirty-three  5^cars,  till  he  died  at  seventy-eight  years  old. 

In  1771,  seventeen  members  of  Cohansie  received  letters  to  con- 
stitute Pittsgrove  church.  On  the  15th  of  May,  four  pastors,  Mr. 
Stelle,  Mr.  Kelsay,  Mr.  Griffiths  and  Mr.  Heaton  of  Dividing  Creek, 
met  with  the  brethren  and  sisters  who  constituted  Pittsgrove  church 
on  the  articles  of  faith  and  covenant  which  Mr.  Kelsay  had  prepared 
for  them.     The  next  day,  May  16th,  1771,  William  Worth  was  ordained 


their  pastor.  There  was  prosperity  in  the  first  ten  years  of  his  charge. 
Many  were  added  to  the  church  by  Unity  and  spirituality 
marked  the  years.  Mr.  Worth  evidently  had  a  strong  hold  on  the 
community,  judging  from  his  record  of  the  number  of  funerals  and 
marriages  and  from  the  number  of  his  congregations.  Mr.  Worth 
went  to  the  extremes  of  dishonor  and  by  the  removal  of  members  to 
other  churches  and  the  discouragement  of  others,  had  a  majority  and 
kept  the  house  for  himself  and  his  co-conspirators,  excluding  Baptists 
from  their  house  of  worship. 

At  the  end  of  twenty  years  from  the  settlement  of  Mr.  Worth, 
only  thirteen  women  remained  true  to  Christ.  In  the  black  night  of 
apostacy,  they  continued  true  to  righteousness.  These  women  held 
meetings  in  groves  and  in  private  houses.  Once,  when  Mr.  Smalley, 
pastor  of  Cohansie  was  preaching  from  an  open  wagon  near  the  meeting 
house,  every  hearer  of  Mr.  Worth  left  him  alone  and  went  to  hear  Mr. 
Smalley.  In  1803,  Mr.  Worth  and  his  two  deacons  were  expelled  from 
the  house  and  the  "wolf  in  sheep's  clothing"  was  deposed  from  the 
ministry.  Mr.  Worth  held  fast  to  his  universalism  while  in  good  health, 
but  when  dying,  repudiated  it  as  false  and  a  lie. 

The  names  of  these  women  ought  to  be  kept.  They  were:  "Sus- 
anna El  well,  Catharine  Harris,  Reuhama  Austin,  Anna  Robinson, 
Tabitha  Mayhew,  Mary  Nichols,  Susanna  Garrison,  Lovica  Elwell, 
Elizabeth  Atkinson,  Priscilla  Blue,  Abigal  Joslin,  Reuhama  Moore  and 
Rachel  Brick,  Reuhama  Moore  and  Rachel  Brick  being  the  only  con- 
stituent members  living."  The  writer  recalls  that  when  a  resident 
near  Pittsgrove,  being  told  that  certain  women  members  at  Pittsgrove 
maintained  a  weekly  femalejjprayer  meeting^at^their  homes  for  fifty 

Upon  the  excision  of  the  element  of  untruth  from  their  midst, 
a  spiritual  era  set  in.  The  same  month  in  which  Mr.  Worth  and  his 
adherents  were  excluded,  three  offered  themselves  for  baptism  and 
ten  others  followed  next  month.  An  administration  of  the  Lord's 
Supper  was  enjoyed,  the  first  observance  of  it  in  ten  years.  Mr.  Oliver 
Leonard  supplied  the  church  after  Mr.  Worth's  removal  for  six  months 
and  was  ordained  in  June  1811.  Up  to  1827,  the  dire  influence  of  the 
past,  hindered  spiritual  growth.  Then  William  Bacon,  M.  D.,  of 
Salem  joined  the  church  and  supplied  the  church  till  August  1829, 
when  he  was  ordained  and  became  pastor.  Dr.  Bacon's  coming  was 
Providential.  His  character  of  high-toned  Christian  completeness  and 
cultured  intelligence  was  an  unanswerable  appeal  against  the  seeds  of 
evil,  which  Mr.  Worth  had  sown  everywhere.  In  1831,  Dr.  Bacon 
included  Woodstown  in  his  field  and  in  1833,  he  began  the  exclusive 


pastorate  of  Woodstown  church,  closing  in  1833,  seven  years  of  labor 
at  Pittsgrove. 

Rev.  William  Pollard  settled  at  Pittsgrove  in  June  1833.  Allusion 
to  "increasing  congregations"  and  an  encouraging  condition  of  affairs 
in  the  letters  of  the  church  to  the  Association  is  the  only  clue  to  the 
work  of  Mr.  Pollard,  the  church  records  of  that  time  being  lost.  In 
October,  1837,  Mr.  J.  S.  Eisenbrey  was  called  and  ordained  that  year. 
He  stayed  nearly  five  years,  was  a  true  pastor  and  did  much  mission 
work  in  near  by  localities,  often  riding  twenty  miles  into  the  "Pines." 
He  was  a  staunch  advocate  of  temperance.  His  salary  was  but  one 
hundred  dollars  and  the  parsonage  farm.  He  also  taught  the  district 
school  and  instructed  music  classes  and  was  a  very  busy  man.  He 
was  not  singular  in  this.  Salaries  were  very  small  and  the  fields  large. 
Four  or  five  sermons  each  week,  beside  social  meetings  and  many  long 
rides  to  stations  and  to  visit  distant  members.  Seldom  less  than  three 
and  four  sermons  on  the  Lord's  Day  and  a  ride  of  fifteen  to  twenty 
miles.  Sympathetic  and  appreciative  church  members  valued  these 
things  by  their  frequent  gifts  to  the  larder,  the  barn  and  to  the  family 
and  home.  The  salary  nominally,  a  pittance  was  enlarged  and  the 
pastor  had  daily  evidence  of  a  kind  and  thoughtful  people.  Rev. 
G.  S.  W'ebb  said  to  the  writer:  "He  had  noticed  that  the  country  pastors 
always  had  an  ample  store  laid  up  for  old  age." 

The  time  of  favor  for  the  Pittsgrove  flock  came;  Rev.  Charles 
Kain,  Jr.,  son  of  Deacon  Charles  Kain  of  Marlton,  the  father  and  the 
son  men  of  noblest  worth,  settled  at  Pittsgrove  in  the  spring  of  1842. 
At  once,  tokens  of  Divine  favor  appeared.  Old  and  young  had  a  sudden 
and  great  concern  for  their  spiritual  welfare.  Mr.  Kain,  Jr.,  having  been 
ordained  in  September,  scores  were  baptized.  Ere  long,  a  modern 
and  spacious  brick  sanctuary  was  built  in  the  place  of  where  the  old 
house  stood.  Mr.  Kain  stayed  only  four  or  five  years,  choosing  another 
field  where  he  had  previously  labored. 

In  1847,  Mr.  W.  F.  Brown  entered  as  pastor  and  was  ordained. 
While  pastor,  a  parsonage  was  built.  His  stay  was  only  three  years 
Rev.  Abel  Philbrook  followed  for  three  years  till  February  1854.  In 
May,  Rev.  Daniel  Kelsay  became  pastor.  Mr.  Kelsay  was  the  grandson 
of  Robert  Kelsay  of  Cohansie,  who  began  his  ministry  and  was  ordained 
at  Pi  tsgrove.  Like  to  his  grandfather,  he  was  a  man  of  rare  worth. 
Without  sentimentalism  and  clap  trap  notions,  he  was  wholly  indifferent 
whether  his  doctrinal  views  hurt  Daniel  Kelsay  or  not.  In  days  when 
it  cost  position  and  repute,  he  was  an  Abolitionist  and  a  high  toned 
temperance  man.  At  the  Civil  War  he  was  on  the  right  side  and  gave 
a  son  and  that  son  gave  his  life  to  preserve  the  Union  and  to  destroy 


slavery.  Pittsgrove  church  prospered  under  his  labors.  Many  also 
came  into  the  kingdom  of  Christ  and  were  added  to  the  church.  Three 
young  men  were  licensed  to  preach.  One  of  them,  his  son.  Pastor 
Kelsay  held  his  pastorate  ten  years,  closing  it  in  1863.  As  at  Mana- 
hawkin,  so  at  Pittsgrove  his  service  was  of  great  value. 

Rev.  A.  B.  Still  entered  the  pastorate  in  October  1864.  Despite 
his  earnest  and  faithful  service,  the  distractions  through  the  Civil 
War  were  serious  hindrances.  Many  converts  were  a  happy  fruitage 
of  his  labors.  From  November,  1867,  to  April,  1871,  Rev.  Levi  Morse 
ministered  as  pastor.  Within  these  nearly  four  years,  Mr.  Morse 
preached  eight  hundred  and  sixty-six  sermons  and  baptized  one  hundred 
converts  into  the  church.  The  parsonage  was  much  improved  and  a 
mission  chapel  costing  two  thousand  dollars  was  built  at  an  out  station. 
Having  accepted  a  call  elsewhere  the  church  yielded  to  his  removal  in 
August  1871. 

Mr.  Mott  came  from  the  Seminary,  was  ordained,  was  pastor  till 
April  1874.  The  next  August,  Rev.  Morgan  Edwards  became  pastor. 
Morgan  Edwards  is  a  name  widely  known  among  Baptists,  as  even 
Roger  Williams  or  Obadiah  Holmes,  Sr.  The  first  Morgan  Edwards 
whose  "Materials  for  Baptist  History"  are  invaluable,  was  pastor  of 
the  first  Baptist  church  in  Philadelphia.  He  has  been  styled  "the 
Princely  Edwards."  The  Morgan  Edwards  who  settled  at  Pittsgrove 
in  1877,  was  a  lineal  descendant  of  Morgan  Edwards  the  historian,  and 
named  for  him  and  as  "mighty  a  man  in  the  Scriptures."  and  as  a 
preacher  as  any  living  man.  How  he  ever  settled  at  Pittsgrove  is 
imaginary  and  was  one  of  his  idiosyncrasies  of  which  he  had  many. 
The  writer  has  knowTi  him  for  forty  years.  He  heard  him  preach  for 
weeks  continuously.  He  has  listened  to  Richard  Fuller,  W.  T.  Brantly, 
Sr.,  John  Hall  and  others  said  to  have  no  superiors,  but  has  never  heard 
a  greater  preacher  than  M.  Edwards,  Jr.  Mr.  Edwards  did  not  stay 
long  at  Pittsgrove.  The  eccentricities  characteristic  of  the  man  may 
be  a  reason.  Whatever  his  peculiarities,  he  was  eminently  a  godly 
man,  conscientious,  benevolent.  His  company  was  a  charm.  Himself 
and  family  were  often  cold  and  hungry  for  he  emptied  his  pockets  to 
give  to  others  what  himself  and  his  were  suffering  for. 

Rev.  L.  Morse  was  recalled  to  be  pastor  in  1875  and  his  second 
pastorate  lasted  till  1878.  Many  were  baptized.  Extensive  improve- 
ments were  made  on  the  church  edifice.  The  old  parsonage  was  sold 
and  another  built  near  the  meeting  house.  Rev.  J.  J.  Reeder  became 
pastor  in  July  1878.  Only  pleasant  things  are  said  of  him  and  of  his 
work  b}'  the  church  and  l)y  those  familiar  with  his  pastorate.  He 
resigned  about  1881.     From  then  till  1900,  six  pastors  followed.     T.  G. 


Denchfield,  one  j'ear;  J.  W.  Taj'lor,  months;  C.  D.  Parker,  three  years; 
E.  B.  Morris,  one  year;  L.  Myers,  eight  years;  F.  H.  Farley,  1897-1900. 
A  new  house  of  worship  was  built  in  a  better  location,  under  Mr.  Myers, 
which  was  dedicated  in  December  1893.  The  same  year  the  church 
received  a  legac)'  of  two  thousand  dollars. 

The  constancy  of  Pittsgrove  under  great  adversities  maintaining 
the  truth  despite  the  defection  of  its  pastor  and  of  his  purpose  to  destroy 
the  church.  The  integrity  of  thirteen  women  for  ten  long,  weary  years 
saving  the  church  is  memorable  and  later,  one  man.  Deacon  John  Combs, 
for  many  years,  steadied  the  trembling  ark.  The  writer  knew  him 
well.  While  the  many  said,  "Give  it  up,"  he  kept  right  on  as  if  the  sun 
was  just  rising. 

We  can  scarce  realize  the  difference  between  the  comforts  and 
convenience  of  our  sanctuaries  and  those  in  which  our  ancestors  wor- 
shipped. The  cabin  home  of  the  new  settler  with  its  small  and  only 
window,  dirt  floor,  its  uncouth  attic,  access  to  which  was  by  a  rude 
ladder  is  no  greater  contrast  to  the  spacious  residence  of  to-day,  with 
its  conveniences  of  light  and  heat  and  furniture  and  baths,  than  is  the 
contrast  of  the  comforts  and  appliances  for  enjoyable  worship  that  we 
have,  with  those  of  an  hundred  and  more  years  ago. 

Since  Pittsgrove  was  organized,  the  church  has  had  twenty  pastors, 
of  whom,  seven  have  been  ordained.  Mr.  Worth  was  pastor  eighteen 
years.  Mr.  Daniel  Kelsay,  nine  years;  Mr.  Myers,  eight  years.  Three 
meeting  houses  have  been  in  use  by  the  church.  The  first  was  built 
in  1742  and  was  in  use  one  hundred  and  three  years.  The  second 
house  was  built  in  1845;  the  third  in  1893  and  is  now  in  use.  Two 
parsonages  have  been  built.  A  house  of  worship  was  built  at  "Old 
Man's  Creek"  in  1773.  Evincing  a  purpose  to  hold  for  the  future  the 
ground  they  then  occupied.  These  early  Baptists  were  enterprising 
and  did  not  spare  either  their  money  or  their  labor  to  build  up  the 
Kingdom.  They  held  truths  well  worth  maintaining  at  the  cost  of 
work,  persecution  and  life. 

Manahawken  is  on  the  southeast  shore  coast  of  New  Jersey. 
There  stood  there  an  old  meeting  house,  twenty-four  feet  square, 
which  Morgan  Edwards  says  was  built  in  1764,  on  an  acre  lot,  the 
gift  of  John  Haywood.  Mr.  Edwards  had  been  misinformed  as  to 
the  date  of  the  building  of  the  house,  for  the  date  of  the  deed 
of  the  lot  is  August  24th,  1758,  and  the  lot  is  described  as  be- 
ginning at  a  stake  two  hundred  and  sixty-five  links  northwest 
from  the  meeting  house,  so  that  the  house  was  there  at  the  date  of  the 
deed.  It  had  also  been  built  before  the  date  of  the  deed.  How  long 
before,  none  can  tell.       It  was  a    Baptist   meeting   house  built  by 


Baptists  chiefly  by  John  Haywood.  This  church  edifice  was  the  first 
house  of  worship  built  in  Ocean  county. 

The  scarcity  of  houses  for  worship  made  it  a  convenient  center 
for  all  denominations.  Baptists  not  having  a  pastor,  enjoyed  like 
other  good  people  hearing  the  Gospel  from  ministers  of  other  denom- 
inations. Quakers,  Presbyterians,  Methodists  and  other  evangelical 
people  were  welcome  to  it.  Thus  Baptists  answered  the  repeated 
assertion  of  Baptist  bigotry  and  closeness.  Baptists  thus  verified  the 
fact  that  they  had  less  sectarianism  than  other  professed  disciples, 
insisting  as  we  do,  on  our  fundamental  principal,  that  everyone  has  a 
right  to  think  and  to  speak  his  opinions  and  must  be  his  own  judge 
of  his  conscience. 

Mr.  Haywood  was  from  Coventry,  England.  In  a  letter  written 
I)y  John  Brainerd  in  1761,  he  names  Mr.  Haywood  and  Randolph  as 
Baptists  who  entertained  ministers  of  all  denominations  and  that  they 
believed  in  toleration.  Beside  (John  or  James,  the  name  varies  in 
authorities)  Haywood,  "Benjamin  Reuben  and  Joseph  Randolph  from 
Piscataway  settled  in  this  neighborhood.  They  were  visited  by  Rev. 
Mr.  Blackwell  in  1764,  of  Hopewell  (?)  who  preached  and  baptized 
five."  Four  Baptists  from  Scotch  Plains  joined  the  colony  about  this 
time  and  they  numbered  nine  Baptists  (ought  not  this  to  be  nineteen, 
or,  at  least,  sixteen?).  Rev.  Benjamin  Miller  of  Scotch  Plains  visited 
them  and  in  1770,  constituted  them  a  church.  Isaac  Stelle  of  Piscata- 
way and  Peter  Wilson  of  Hightstown,  each  of  these  three  men  accounted 
the  whole  world  their  field.  Comprehending  in  their  sympathies  and 
consciousness  the  needs  of  lost  men  for  salvation.  Nathaniel  Jenkins 
of  first  Cape  May  and  Robert  Kelsay  of  Cohansie  were  men  of  the  same 
kind.  Though  limited  by  their  field  on  the  peninsula  of  southern  New 
Jersey,  to  comparatively  narrow  surroundings.  These  however,  were 
well  looked  after. 

Rev.  H.  Crossley  was  the  first  pastor  of  Manahawken  church  and 
settled  there  in  1774.  Next  year,  Mr.  I.  Bonnell,  a  licentiate  of  the 
church  was  called  to  be  pastor  and  was  ordained.  He  also  continued 
only  a  year.  With  his  resignation,  a  cloud  overcast  the  church  till 
1799.  The  Association  then  propo.sed  to  drop  the  name  of  the  church. 
But  a  few  members  of  the  Association  claimed  that  if  Rev.  J.  P.  Peck- 
worth  of  Philadelphia  could  visit  them,  he  might  be  the  means  of 
recovery.  He  did  so,  and  found  only  five  women  members  of  the 
church.  Not  the  only  instance  where  a  few  women  saved  the  life  of 
a  church,  as  at  Pittsgrove,  Eatontown  and  others,  of  whom  it  could  be 
written:  "I  know  thy  works  and  has  borne  and  hast  patience  and  for 
my  name's  sake  hast  labored  and  hast  not  fainted." 


Mr.  Peckworth's  visits  and  those  of  others  whom  he  influenced  to 
go  to  Manahawken,  resulted  in  the  conversion  of  many  who  were  bap- 
tized. In  the  meantime,  two  of  the  five  women  died  and  could  three 
women  constitute  a  church,  was  questioned.  It  was  decided,  "Yes." 
In  accord  with  the  words  of  Christ:  "Where  two  or  three  of  you  are 
met,  there  am  I,  etc.,"  The  two  or  three  was  decided  to  be  enough  to 
constitute  a  church.  Pastor  Magowan  and  Benjamin  Hedges  of  Pem- 
berton  visited  the  church  and  at  the  request  of  the  three  sisters,  Sarah 
Perrine,  Mary  Sprague  and  Elizabeth  Sharp,  gave  the  hand  of  fellow- 
ship to  twenty  persons,  who  had  recently  been  baptized.  In  the  same 
year,  four  more  were  baptized  and  the  next  year,  seven  were  baptized 
and  in  1805,  forty-four  were  baptized  and  the  membership  of  the  church 
increased  to  sixty-eight.  Mr.  Carlisle,  a  licentiate  of  Pemberton  often 
visited  Manahawken.  Rev.  Benjamin  Hedges  of  Pemberton  is  said 
to  have  been  pastor  prior  to  1823. 

The  many  gaps  in  the  church  records  make  it  impossible  to  give 
a  consecutive  account  of  the  church.  Rev.  Ezekiel  Sexton  was  pastor 
1834-39.  He  was  an  efficient  pastor,  as  also  a  most  lovely  man.  From 
1839-40,  Rev.  Daniel  Kelsay  was  pastor.  He  was  the  son  of  Robert 
Kelsay  of  Cohansie.  Lacking  the  brilliant  qualities  of  his  father,  he 
was  a  standard  man  of  rare  worth;  the  longer  and  better  known,  the 
more  valued  for  his  integrity  and  intelligence.  While  pastor,  some 
sixty  to  seventy  united  with  the  church.  A  successor  writes  of  him: 
"He  exerted  an  influence  intellectually  and  religiously  on  the  community 
which  is  still  felt."  Part  of  this  time  he  was  principal  of  the  Public 
school  and  sustained  the  reputation  of  being  one  of  the  best  teachers 
in  the  country  and  many  were  sent  from  a  distance  to  enjoy  the  benefit 
of  his  instructions.  Mr.  Kelsay  had  been  at  Mr.  Aaron's  school  and 
had  caught  some  of  the  incomparable  teaching  gift  of  that  wonderful 

The  Manahawken  church  has  had  twenty-three  pastors,  two  of 
whom  died  while  pastors.  John  Todd  was  licensed  to  preach,  while 
Mr.  Kelsay  was  pastor  and  later  was  ordained.  Mr.  Todd  was  one  of 
the  most  devoted  and  indefatigable  missionaries  of  the  New  Jersey 
Baptist  State  Convention,  travelling  on  foot  from  Cape  May  to  Long 
Branch  in  the  "Pines"  carrying  the  lamp  of  life  to  thousands,  who 
but  for  him  would  not  have  known  the  way  of  life.  After  Mr.  Kelsay, 
other  pastors  were:  L.  S.  Griswold,  Rev.  Mr.  Philbrook,  James  Thorn, 
J.  Perry,  A.  H.  Folwell,  S.  Semour,  A.  H.  Folwell,  second  charge;  E.  S. 
Browe,  C.  A.  Mott,  C.  P.  DeCamp,  E.  L.  Stager,  who  died  in  the  third 
year  of  his  pastorate.  J.  F.  Bender,  W.  II.  Eldridge,  under  whom  a 
parsonage  was  bought;  W.  N.  Walden,  who  died  in  1893  in  the  ninth 


year  of  his  pastorate;  G.  C.  Horter,  G.  C.  Ewart,  E.  F.  Partridg;c,  H. 
Stager,  1900. 

The  small  salary  accounts  for  most  of  these  changes.  Manahawkin 
is  an  isolated  field.  Distant  from  business  centers  and  until  a  "resort 
by  the  sea,"  will  not  have  a  large  population.  Still  such  churches 
give  the  Ganos,  Peter  Wilson,  Benjamin  Miller,  Kelsays  and  South- 
worths  to  our  churches  and  are  the  mountain  springs  which  thousands 
of  miles  inland,  nourish  the  oceans. 

The  large  share  which  some  of  our  oldest  churches  have  had  in  this 
distant  locality  is  noteworthy.  Piscataway  and  Scotch  Plains  con- 
tributed a  majority  of  the  constituents  and  Pastor  Miller  was  its  voucher. 
Pemberton  also  came  to  its  aid  in  the  days  of  extremity.  Its  Pastor 
Magowan  did  anew  the  service  Pastor  Miller  had  rendered.  Of  the 
first  meeting  house  we  had  an  account.  It  was  a  memorial  of  a  good 
man,  the  lone  Baptist,  who  did  "what  he  could"  for  Christ  and  for 
his  adopted  country.  When  it  had  fallen  into  decay.  Rev.  C.  W. 
Mulford,  pastor  at  Pemberton,  was  piincipally  instrumental  in  having 
a  second  house  of  worship  built.  Another  instance  of  the  worth  of 
that  good  man  to  coming  generations.  The  third  house  of  worship, 
now  in  use,  was  begun  under  Pastor  A.  H.  FolweU  in  1865,  and  was 
completed  in  1867,  the  first  year  of  Mr.  Browe's  service. 

When  in  1876,  fifty-eight  members  were  dismissed  to  form  the 
West  Creek  church  under  Pastor  C.  A.  Mott;  they  say  referring  to  the 
organization  of  that  body:  "We  have  transferred  to  them  the  church 
property  there."  That  property  was  an  old  Methodist  church  edifice, 
bought  and  repaired,  through  Dr.  T.  T.  Price  of  Tuckerton.  In  the 
winter  of  1875-6,  sixty-nine  converts  had  been  baptized  at  West  Creek, 
These  were  constituted  the  West  Creek  church  and  joined  Manahawkin 
church  as  being  the  nearest  Baptist  church. 

To  have  sent  John  Todd  on  his  mission  of  love  to  the  destitute 
in  the  "Pines"  justified  the  one  hundred  and  thirty  years  of  struggling 
church  life  and  the  early  attempt  of  Mr.  Haywood  to  minister  the 
word  of  life,  and  built  a  house  of  worship,  nearly  two  hundred  years 
since,  compensated  a  thousand  fold  for  the  costs  of  maintaining 
the  church.  The  constituents  of  West  Creek  church,  though  dismissed 
from  Manahawkin  church,  very  rarely  worshipped  at  Manahawken, 
the  link  to  Manahawkin  was  exclusively  the  pastor,  Mr.  Mott,  who 
preached  at  West  Creek  on  the  afternoon  of  the  Lord's  Day. 



Keyport  is  on  the  shore  of  the  Raritan  Bay  in  Monmouth  county, 
six  miles  from  Middletown  village.  At  the  time  of  the  organization 
of  the  Baptist  church,  in  1840,  it  was  a  small  village  of  late  origin. 
The  pastors  of  Middletown,  Holmdel  and  Jacksonville  had  appoint- 
ments there  for  several  years  before  the  Baptist  church  was  formed. 
Thus  Baptists  increased  until  their  number  justified  an  organization 
of  a  Baptist  church.  Rev.  J.  M.  Carpenter  of  Jacksonville,  first  made 
a  regular  appointment.  Mr.  S.  Sproul,  a  licentiate  of  Middletown, 
a  resident  at  Keyport  was  active  in  maintaining  social  devotional 
meetings  there.  Providentially,  Rev.  F.  Ketchum,  an  evangelist 
came  to  Middletown.  Hundreds  of  converts  were  a  result  of  the 

A  proposal  to  found  a  branch  at  Keyport  was  rejected  and  a 
Baptist  church  of  eleven  constituents  was  organized  in  August  1840. 
On  the  same  day,  Mr.  Ketchum  baptized  twelve  converts  into  its 
fellowship.  The  Board  of  the  State  Convention  appointed  Mr.  Jackson 
Smith,  a  licentiate  of  Middletown  church  its  missionary  at  Keyport. 
Mr.  Smith  gave  up  the  field  and  in  February  1841,  the  Board  was  asked 
to  appoint  Mr.  William  V.  Wilson  to  Keyport.  They  did  so.  Mr. 
Wilson  was  ordained  in  May  1841.  Rev.  Mr.  Wilson  has  lived  and  his 
ministry  has  been  exclusively  in  Monmouth  county.  New  Jersey,  where 
he  has  been  pastor  of  three  Baptist  churches,  Keyport,  Navesink  and 
Port  Monmouth,  closing  his  pastoral  work  January  1,  1892,  of  fifty-one 
years,  being  past  his  eightieth  year  and  pastor  of  the  third  church  to 
which  he  ministered  thirty-eight  years.  These  fifty  years  of  pastoral 
labor  within  so  narrow  a  circuit  is  an  indication  of  the  worth  of  the 
man  and  of  his  influence.  Himself  financially  able,  churches,  missions 
and  education  were  quietly  uplifted  from  depths. 

A  meeting  house  was  built  at  Keyport  the  first  year  of  Mr.  Wilson's 
pastorate.  Originally,  Keyport  church  had  been  constituted  as  the 
third  church  of  Middletown.  Holmdel  being  the  second  Middletown. 
But  in  1850,  the  name  was  changed  to  first  Baptist  church  of  Keyport. 
Soon  after  settling  at  Keyport,  Pastor  Wilson  made  a  regular  appoint- 
ment at  Middleto-wn  point,  (now  Matawan).  He  also  administered  the 
Lord's  Supper  in  school  for  the  convenience  of  the  Baptists 
scattered   in   the    (now   Marlboro   township).     In    1850,   Mr.    Wilson 


secured  the  erection  of  a  very  neat  and  conimodius  house  of  worshij) 
in  Matuwan.  Mr.  Wilson  resigned  in  August  1853,  after  being  pastor 
more  than  twelve  years.  The  growth  of  the  church  had  been  constant 
and  the  increase  was  such  that  a  larger  and  better  church  edifice  was 
necessary  and  measures  were  taken  to  build  it. 

In  June  1854,  Rev.  J.  Q.  Adams  entered  the  pastorate.  In  little 
more  tlian  a  year,  he  gave  up  his  charge.  Mr.  Wilson  was  called  but 
declined  to  return.  After  a  long  interval  in  the  pastorate.  Rev.  F.  A. 
Slater  accepted  the  pastoral  charge  in  the  latter  part  of  1856.  The 
resignation  of  Mr.  Wilson  delayed  the  plans  for  a  new  house  of  worship, 
but  earnest  plans  were  adopted  at  the  coming  of  Mr.  Slater  and  the 
meeting  house  was  nearly  finished  when  he  resigned  in  1862.  Next 
December,  Rev.  A.  P.  Greaves  became  pastor;  the  new  church  edifice 
was  dedicated  while  he  was  ministering  to  the  church.  His  resignation 
took  effect  in  1864. 

On  the  next  June  1865,  Rev.  F.  F.  Cailhopper  was  called  and  soon 
after  settled  as  pastor.  His  stay  was  but  four  years.  A  long  interval 
occurred  in  the  pastoral  office  and  the  church  prospered  as  much  as 
the  conditions  allowed.  Rev.  J.  K.  Manning  entered  the  pastorate  in 
October,  1870;  held  the  longest  pastoral  charge  the  church  enjoyed. 
Resigning  in  1883,  about  thirteen  years.  The  succession  of  pastors 
since  hji,s  been:  S.  K.  Dexter,  1883-89;  J.  D.  Crumley,  1890-99.  Up  to 
1900,  the  church  has  had  nine  pastors,  two  of  whom  remained  twelve 
and  more  years  each.  Several  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach. 
The  church  has  not  been  disturbed  with  discord.  Deacon  Thomas 
Burrowes  has  been  an  efficient  co-worker  with  the  church  and  the 
pastors.  Equally  active  in  all  missions  in  the  vicintiy  of  the  church 
and  the  Association  missions.  One  church,  Matawan  has  been  colonized 
from  Keyport  church. 

Although  Matawan  Baptist  church  is  closely  related  to  Keyport 
Baptist  church.  Baptist  interests  there  antidated  the  beginnings  of 
Baptist  movements  at  Keyport.  Before  1830,  Pastor  Roberts  of  first 
Middletown  church  preached  in  the  house  of  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Bent  at 
Matawan.  Pastors  J.  M.  Carpenter  and  J.  Goble  of  Jacksonville  also, 
preached  in  Matawan.  Mr.  Carpenter  lived  in  Matawan  two  years. 
Rev.  William  V.  Wilson,  while  pastor  at  Keyport  preached  regularly 
at  Matawan  for  nearly  nine  years.  Converts  there  were  baptized  into 
the  membership  of  Keyport  church.  Of  the  thirty-two  Baptists  who 
constituted  the  Matawan  Baptist  church  on  October  22nd,  1850,  twenty 
were  from  Keyport  and  a  church  edifice  was  built  for  them  by  Pastor 
Wilson  of  Keyport  the  same  year.  It  would  not  surprise  those  who 
know  Mr.  Wilson  if  they  learned  that  he  was  the  largest  donor  for  its  cost. 


The  Matawan  church  chose  Rev.  Job  Gaskill  of  Columbus  for 
their  pastor.  Mr.  Gaskill  was  a  missionary  of  the  Board  of  the  State 
Convention  at  work  about  Matawan.  Mr.  Gaskill  was  one  of  the  most 
devotedly  godly  men  and  Mrs.  Gaskill  one  of  the  most  active  and 
earnest  among  Christian  women.  Both  of  them  had  ample  private 
means  and  relieved  the  church  of  wholly  caring  for  them.  Mr.  Gaskill 
was  a  very  frail  man,  though  he  had  immense  courage.  Only  a  few 
months  sufficed  to  lay  him  aside  and  he  was  compelled  to  return  home 
Additions  to  the  church  greatly  strengthened  it.  Mr.  D.  F.  Twiss 
followed  as  pastor.  But  like  to  his  predecessor,  he  was  very  frail. 
Sad  affiictions  befell  him.  Death  claimed  his  four  children.  Disease 
preyed  upon  his  companion  and  hemhorrages  warned  him  of  his  own 
early  death  and  in  October  1853,  he  resigned  to  the  grief  of  the  church 
and  community.  He  died  June  30th,  1857,  and  entered  into  his  re- 

In  June  1854,  Rev.  J.  W.  Crumb  became  pastor.  For  four  years 
he  wholly  served  the  chriu'ch.  In  the  last  year  of  his  charge  a  great 
calamity  befell  the  church :  their  church  edifice  was  burned  in  February 
1858.  The  insurance  policy  had  expired  days  before  and  the  loss  was 
total.  The  loss  of  the  pastor  and  the  burning  of  their  house  of  wor- 
ship was  a  concurrence  of  disappointments,  nearly  fatal  to  the  church. 
But  a  conference  of  neighboring  pastors  pledged  them  help  in  their 
need.  Pastor  Crumb  closed  his  labors  at  Matawan  in  May,  1858.  A 
hall  was  rented  and  a  "permanent  supply"  obtained.  Pastor  Slater 
of  Keyport  assured  them  of  an  afternoon  Lord's  Day  service  till  they 
had  a  pastor. 

Rev.  J.  E.  Barnes  settled  as  pastor  in  November  1859,  remaining 
two  and  more  years.  These  years  had  ample  returns.  Large  con- 
gregations waited  on  his  ministry  and  his  executive  gifts  wrought  to 
complete  a  new  house  of  worship.  A  graduate,  Mr.  R.  G.  Farley, 
came  within  a  year  and  was  ordained.  In  the  next  four  years,  their 
ncAV  church  edifice  was  paid  for.  The  hardships  of  short  and  new 
pastorships  and  of  the  fire,  caused  a  decline  of  the  membership  and  of 
the  financial  and  spiritual  strength.  However,  Rev.  F.  A.  Slater 
entered  the  pastorate  in  October  1866.  In  a  few  years,  harvests  of 
converts  and  renewed  vigor  confirmed  the  choice  of  the  pastor.  Mr. 
Slater  was  pjistor  for  twenty-three  years.  Resigning  in  September 
1889,  on  account  of  increasing  infirmities,  suffered  several  years  since 
in  a  railroad  accident. 

'vv  In  January  1890,  Rev.  C.  L.  Percy  became  pastor  and  closed  his 
charge  in  October  1894.  Two  members  of  the  church  (women)  sailed 
in  1892,  for  mission  work  in  India.     Pastor  H.  J.  Whalen  settled  in 


Junuiiry  1895  and  resigned  in  January  1S99.     On  the  next  June,  Kev. 
J.  Y.  Irving  accepted  a  call  to  be  pastor. 

While  the  church  has  hopeful  prospects,  the  commercial  and 
business  future  of  the  town  does  not  indicate  an  extensive  growth.  If 
William  V.  Wilson  is  included  as  pastor,  the  church  has  had  ten  pastors. 
Two  houses  of  worship  have  been  in  use.  The  first  built  in  1850  and 
burned  in  1858;  another  now  in  use.  There  is  not  a  published  state- 
ment of  members  having  been  licensed  to  preach  and  yet,  two  female 
members  are  in  India  as  missionaries. 




Shrewsbury  in  which  Red  Bank  is  located  had  been  for  many 
years,  an  unkno^\ai  land  to  Baptists.  Red  Bank  was  a  small  village 
in  1843.  Since  the  ministry  of  Samuel  Morgan,  nephew  of  Abel 
Morgan,  who  followed  his  uncle  Abel  Morgan  when  he  had  died,  as 
pastor  of  first  Middletown,  there  had  not  been  Baptist  preaching  in 
Shrewsbury,  except  the  monthly  service  by  Ptistor  D.  B.  Stout  of  first 
iNIiddletown  at  Red  Bank.  Abel  Morgan  went  everywhere  preaching 
and  if  doors  were  shut,  he  opened  them,  going  in  without  invitation. 
Long  Branch(East)  was  one  of  his  stations.  Samuel  Morgan  kept  up 
the  appointment  and  gathered  many  converts. 

Mr.  Bennett,  who  followed  Samuel  Morgan  as  pastor  of  Middle- 
town  church  dropped  all  the  out  appointments  of  his  predecessors  and 
attended  to  his  farm,  more  than  to  cultivating  spiritual  fields.  AVith- 
out  meaning  to  misrepresent  him,  he  looked  after  himself  rather  than 
after  the  Kingdom  of  God.  Politics  ended  his  ministerial  career  and 
thus  it  happened  that  Shrewsbury  was  lost  to  the  Baptists  and  the 
covetous  greed  of  a  preacher,  also  lost  the  labors  of  more  than  fifty 

The  first  pastor  and  missionary  at  Red  Bank  renewed  the  appoint- 
ment of  the  Morgans  at  Long  Branch,  and  meeting  descendants  of  the 
early  Baptists,  was  glad  to  hear  the  ministries  of  their  fathers  and 
mothers,  who  had  told  him  that  their  ancestors  were  Baptists,  but 
being  "left  out  in  the  cold,"  had  nowhere  else  to  go  than  to  other 

The  MiddletowTi  shore  of  the  Navesink  river  was  lined  with  Baptist 
families,  but  on  this  side  of  the  river  only  nine  Baptists  lived  in  Red 
Bank,  and  two  east  of  here.  The  Episcopal  and  Presbyterian  churches 
were  in  the  village  of  Shrewsbury,  also  the  "Friends'  Meeting."  A 
Methodist  church  was  in  Rumson;  another  below  Long  Branch;  and  a 
houseless  interest  of  the  Methodist  family  below  Red  Bank.  Pastor 
Stout  of  Middletowm  preached  here  in  the  "Forum"  once  in  each  month; 
also  Mr.  Taylor  of  Shrewsbury  monthly.  These  were  the  only  regular 
religious  services  in  Red  Bank  up  to  November,  1843. 

At  the  meeting  of  the  Board  of  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  State 
Convention  with  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  A.ssociation  in  Jacobstown, 
September  12th,  1843,  Pastors  Stout  of  Middletown,  Hires  of  Holmdel, 

RED  BANK  241 

and  Wilson  of  Kcyport,  called  attention  to  Red  Bank  and  Shrewsbury 
as  a  mission  field.  Unbeknown  to  one  another,  each  of  them  asked  a 
young  man  to  visit  Red  Bank  and  vicinity.  Impressed  with  this 
concurrent  request  the  yoimg  man  whom  they  asked,  invited  a  mutual 
conference,  when  it  was  arranged  for  him  to  visit  Red  Bank. 

God  was  in  this  thing.  For  many  months  he  had  been  looking 
for  a  place.  He  had  traversed  a  large  part  of  eastern  Pennsylvania 
and  middle  and  west  Jersey;  not  for  a  church, — for  he  had  from  the 
first  determined  that  he  would  not  follow  any  one  in  the  pastoral  office, 
and  would  therefore  settle  in  a  new  and  unoccupied  field  and  have 
only  the  one  life-long  settlement.  He  had  also  a  choice  of  locality, 
and  a  decided  preference  like  to  that  of  John  the  Baptist — a  place  where 
there  "was  much  water."  As  yet  he  had  not  seen  the  place  to  suit 
him.  When,  however,  he  came  here,  saw  these  hills  and  plain  and 
people  and  river  he  said  to  himself:  "I  have  found  it.  Here  I  come 
and  stay  and  die." 

In  October,  1843,  the  Board  of  the  State  Convention  appointed 
him,  T.  S.  Griffiths,  their  missionary  in  this  region  for  six  months. 
Returning  to  Red  Bank,  he  began  his  ministry  on  the  evening  of  No- 
vember 17th,  1843,  with  a  congregation  of  thirty-three  persons. 

Prior  to  his  coming  back  our  Methodist  brethren  had  suddenly 
awakened  to  the  great  importance  of  this  field.  It  is  usually  so.  How- 
ever long  a  place  is  left  desolate,  if  Baptists  enter  it  other  names  of  the 
Christian  family  quickly  discover  the  need  of  its  people  of  their 
doctrinal  ideas.  There  may  be  two  reasons  for  this — first,  the  Baptists 
are  good  leaders;  second,  they  are  safe  to  follow. 

The  pastor's  salary  was  about  two  hunderd  dollars,  and  he  must 
needs  keep  a  horse.  And  yet  he  not  only  did  not  lack  any  needful 
thing,  but  always  had  great  abundance  and  avoided  the  plague  of  debt. 

Large  salaries  were  not  given  nor  expected  by  pastors  in  New 
Jersey  till  later  years.  But  the  salary  was  not  an  index  of  income. 
Really,  the  pastors  then  had  larger  revenues  than  now,  and  those 
who  remained  long  in  the  state  rarely  failed  to  lay  by  a  store  for  retired 
life.  The  longer  settlements  of  former  days  were  due  largely  to  the  bond 
of  mutual  interest  and  love  which  these  tokens  expressed.  The  brisiness 
feature  of  pastoral  settlements  in  these  times  is  the  most  satisfactory 
explanation  of  their  short  and  uncertain  tenure.  It  will  always  be, 
that  pastors  who  impress  the  people  that  their  "living"  is  secondary 
to  their  "service"  will  have  a  place  in  their  hearts  and  a  share  of  their 
substance,  which  very  practically  verifies  the  Scripture.  "The  laborer 
is  worthy  of  his  reward." 

The  early  settlers  of  Shrewsbury  differed  from  those  in  other  parts 



of  Monmouth  County,  chiefly  Quakers.  They  gave  caste  to  the  religious 
ideas  of  the  people.  Other  denominations  made  but  little  progress. 
When  Hicksitism  absorbed  Quakerism,  but  few  remained  of  the  Ortho- 
dox "Friends."  The  door  was  opened  at  the  widest  for  infidelity, 
especially  in  communities.  Red  Bank,  although  having 
neither  a  house  of  worship,  nor  a  church  organization  was  leavened 
with  evangelical  sentiment.  Numerous  members  of  neighboring 
churches  being  residents  in  the  place. 

The  missionary  of  the  convention  labored  almost  a  year  before 
the  Baptist  church  was  organized.  This  delay  was  caused  by  the 
opposition  of  the  Baptist  household  across  the  river.  Generous  offers 
were  made  to  the  missionary  if  he  would  leave  the  field,  it  being  insisted 
that  a  Baptist  church  in  Red  Bank  would  seriously  impair  the  member- 
ship and  influence  of  first  Middletown  church.  Neither  did  all  of  the 
resident  Baptists  approve  the  movement.  Nevertheless,  a  Baptist 
church  was  formed  of  fourteen  constituents  on  August  7th, 1844.  The 
missionary  was  also,  at  a  later  date,  ordained  as  pastor.  Lots  were 
bought  and  the  walls  of  the  basement  were  built  and  paid  for.  The 
house,  however,  was  not  completed  and  dedicated  until  1849.  The 
same  opposition  to  the  completion  of  the  building  delayed  it,  as  had 
hindered  the  organization  of  the  church.  For  some  time,  the  Secretary 
of  the  American  Baptist  Home  Mission  Societ)^  had  been  impressing 
the  pastor  with  the  duty  of  going  West  and  take  charge  of  the  first 
Baptist  church  at  Milwaukee,  Wis.  He  prevailed  in  January,  1850, 
when  the  pastor  resigned  to  go  on  this  mission;  very  much  against  his 
own  convictions.  The  labors  of  this  first  pastorate  were  in  Inying 
foundations.  Usually  in  winter,  he  preached  at  Red  Bank  seven  times 
in  the  week.  In  summer,  four  and  five  times  on  the  Lord's  Day,  riding 
twenty  miles  to  different  appointments.  The  church  edifice  at  Red 
Bank  was  crowded  on  the  Lord's  Day.  A  clergyman  of  another  dt  nom- 
ination was  baptized  and  others,  active  officers  in  Christian  denomina- 
tions were  baptized. 

When  first  constituted,  the  church  was  known  as  the  Shrewsbury 
Baptist  church,  later  the  name  was  changed  to  Red  Bank.  In  August 
1850,  Rev.  R.  T.  Middleditch  became  pastor  and  held  the  office  for 
sixteen  years.  Large  accessions  by  baptism  and  letter  from  first 
Middletown  were  received  in  the  winter  of  1850-1;  those  last  mentioned 
would  have  been  constituents,  but  for  the  opposition  made  to  the 
forming  of  a  Baptist  church.  Concord  and  discord  occurred  at  the 
close  of  Mr.  Middleditch's  t«rm  of  office  and  he  resigned.  Seventeen 
members  were  dismissed  in  1853  to  found  a  Baptist  church  at  Eaton- 
town,  about  four  miles  from  Red  Bank.     Mr.  Middleditch  giving  as  a 


reason  for  this  unwise  step,  his  inaljility  to  occupy  the  field.  Additions 
and  improvements  were  made  in  the  meeting  house  as  occasion  required. 
Following  Mr.  Middleditch,  Rev.  C.  W.  Clark  settled  as  pastor  in  1868. 
A  chapel  was  built  at  Leedville  an  out  station  in  Middlctown  in  1869. 
The  succession  of  pastors  was:  Mr.  C.  W.  Clark,  1868-71;  E.  J.  Foote, 
1871-75;  B.  F.  Leipsner,  1875-82;  J.  K.  Manning,  1883-97;  W.  B.  Matte- 
son,  1897-1904. 

Five  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach.  One  church,  Eaton- 
town,  has  been  colonized  from  Red  Bank.  The  first  of  worship 
cost,  under  the  superintendence  of  Mr.  C.  G.  Allen  and  with  rare  econ- 
omy, three  thousand  dollars.  The  second,  built  in  the  pastorate  of 
Rev.  J.  K.  Manning  cost  thirty  thousand  dollars.  The  difference 
indicates  growth.  Two  deacons  of  first  Middletown  were  among  the 
constituents  of  Red  Bank  church,  father  and  son,  the  venerable 
Daniel  Smith  and  Joseph  M.  Smith.  A  brother  of  Joseph  was  also  a 
deacon  at  Red  Bank  later.  Another  Smith,  also  a  deacon  in  no  wise 
related  to  the  former  family,  had  it  written  of  him: 

"Deacon  Sidney  T.  Smith  was  a  very  modest  man.  But  he  was 
never  known  to  be  missing  when  time  or  money  or  hardship  was  in 
demand.  In  the  torrid  heat  of  summer,  or  the  slush  and  snow  and 
cold  of  wnter,  he  walked  miles  to  be  in  his  place,  superintendent  of  the 
mission  Sunday-school. 

And  of  Joseph  M.,  it  was  truly  said: 

"Deacon  Joseph  M.  Smith  was  a  gentle  spirit;  a  man  of  reading 
and  of  intelligence  and  of  eminent  devotion — a  rock;  always  found 
where  you  would  look  for  him,  and  when  wanted  within  call." 

Red  Bank  has  had  seven  pastors,  one  of  whom  served  sixteen 
years;  another  fourteen  years. 

Eatonto^Ti  was  originally  a  Quaker  village.  The  planting  of  a 
Baptist  church  there  as  early  as  it  was,  was  a  mistake.  It  began  a 
lingering  life  of  disappointment.  Had  a  branch  of  Red  Bank  been 
formed  and  the  pastor  preached  there  monthly  and  social  meetings  on 
other  Lord's  Days,  in  connection  with  the  Sunday  school,  all  would 
have  been  well.  But  two  male  members  were  identified  with  the  church 
and  none  of  the  members  had  been  baptists  long.  The  first  sermon 
preached  by  a  Baptist  in  the  town  was  by  a  missionary  of  the  New 
Jersey  Baptist  State  Convention  in  1843.  Religious  meeting  was  not 
remembered  by  the  oldest  inhabitant  ever  to  have  been  held  there, 
except  a  funeral  service.  Only  two  church  members  lived  in  the  place, 
a  hu.sband,  Methodist,  and  his  wife,  Presbyterian.  Occasionally  they 
went  to  their  o-\vn  church. 

A  club  of  men  took  the  "Infidel  Investigator,"  of  Boston.     As 


colportcirs  they  distributed  the  paper.  When  the  missionary  asked 
for  the  school  house  for  preaching,  there  was  a  long  list  of  ol:)jcctions, 
most  of  them,  silly,  one  that  other  ministers  would  ask  the  same  liberty. 
They  did.  Baptists  coming  to  a  town  opens  the  eyes  of  Pedo  Baptists 
to  their  pernicious  teaching,  and  it  must  have  an  antidote.  Consent 
was  given  and  if  "no  harm  was  done  the  trustees  would  see."  They 
saw  and  continuous  appointments  were  made.  In  the  winter  of  1845 
and  6,  consent  was  given  for  evening  meetings.  These  continued  for 
four  months.  The  missionary  riding  four  miles  and  back  to  Red 
Bank  every  night  through  storm  and  mud.  Divine  power  was  manifest 
in  the  meetings.  One  of  the  proudest  men  and  chief  of  the  club  kneeled 
publicly  and  confessed  his  need  of  Christ.  A  large  number  came  into 
the  new  life  and  the  religious  caste  of  the  place  was  wholly  changed. 

Ten  or  twelve  years  after  the  building  of  the  meeting  house,  it  was 
to  be  sold  by  the  sheriff.  But  seven  women,  the  first  baptized  of  the 
meeting  of  1845  and  '46,  the  only  members  of  the  church  left,  pledged 
each  other  to  save  it  from  sale.  Other  denominations  wished  to  buy 
it.  But  these  women  would  not  sell.  One  of  them  rented  the  house 
and  kept  up  worship  in  it.  About  1871,  the  pastor  of  the  Holmdel 
church  sent  word  to  these  women  and  to  certain  Baptists  living  at  and 
^near  to  Red  Bank,  to  meet  him  in  the  church  at  Eatontown  on  a  given 
afternoon  of  a  Lord's  Day.  A  crowded  house  met  him  and  six  hundred 
dollars  was  raised  to  support  a  pastor  at  Eatontown. 

In  1872,  Rev.  W.  D.  Seigfried  was  secured  and  the  members  in- 
creased from  seven  to  sixty  in  a  short  time.  One  of  the  seven  women 
was  a  grand-mother.  While  young  she  was  converted.  Kindred 
and  friends  urged  her  to  unite  with  them,  with  the  Methodist  church, 
but  she  said,  "No,  the  New  Testament  makes  me  a  Baptist."  But 
they  said:  "There  is  not  a  Baptist  church  in  all  of  this  section."  "There 
will  be  before  I  die  and  I  will  wait  till  a  Baptist  minister  comes  along.  " 
Youth,  middle  life,  children  and  grand  children  came.  The  venerable 
woman  passed,  it  may  be,  her  seventieth  year,  was  one  of  the  four 
whom  the  missionary  baptized  at  Eatontown.  He  welcomed  her 
children  and  her  grandchildren  and  two  of  her  grandsons  are  Baptist 

Seventeen  members  united  to  forni  the  Eatontown  church  in 
1853.  The  pastors  were:  C.  A.  Votey,  1853-55;  J.  Teed,  1856-7,  or- 
dained; H.  B.  Raybold,  1862;  W.  D.  Seigfried,  1872;  S.  V.  Marsh,  1873- 
76;  J.  Marshall,  1876-80;  A.  N.  Whitemarsh,  1880-84;  W.  G.  Russell, 
1884-86;  S.  L.  Cox,  1887;  M.  L.  Ferris,  1889-93;  F.  Gardner,  1894-98; 
M.  R.  Thompson  ordained  in  1898;  O.  Barchwitz,  1899-1900.  Mr. 
Seigfried  became  the  subject  of  discipline  and  was  excluded.     Numerous 

LONG    BRANCH  245 

converts  were  added  under  pastors  Marsli,  Whitomarsh  and  Marshall 
and  expansions  at  the  expense  of  Eatontown  church  were  begun,  chiefly 
by  the  Trenton  Association,  a  chapel  was  built  at  Long  Branch  on  a 
lot  the  Association  had  bought  in  1874. 

Pastor  W.  G.  Russell  of  Eatontown  resigned  in  1886  to  accept 
the  charge  of  the  Long  Branch  church,  formed  by  a  large  colony  from 
Eatontown,  and  Eatontown  that  had  grown  strong  was  again  depleted, 
into  comparative  weakness.  An  unsolved  problem  is:  the  gain  of 
pulling  down  one  church  to  found  another.  From  its  organization, 
the  Eatontown  church  has  had  a  struggle  for  life.  Only  the  pious 
tenacity  of  a  few  women  has  saved  it  from  extinction.  While  the 
population  of  Eatontown  is  as  healthful  in  its  habits  and  as  intelligent 
as  are  other  localities,  some  of  its  pastors  have  been  bad;  which  the 
eminent  worthiness  of  others  has  been  essential  to  redeem  the  church 
from  the  condemnation  of  those  "without."  Thirteen  pastors  have 
served  the  church.  Changes  in  the  pastorate  have  been  due  to  a 
limited  salary  and  is  not  a  fault  of  theirs.  The  Eatontown  church 
colonized  the  Long  Branch  in  1886. 

The  rapid  increase  of  population  on  the  sea  shore  of  New  Jersey 
from  the  interior  of  the  country,  called  attention  to  the  destitution  of 
Baptist  churches  of  that  section.  Between  South  Amboy  and  first 
Cape  May,  there  were  but  two  Baptist  churches  on  the  sea  coast  before 
1865,  Manasquan  and  Manahawkin.  True,  Osbornville  and  Cape 
May  City  near  by.  But  Osbornville  was  back  in  the  "Pines"  and 
Cape  Island  City  is  on  an  island  at  the  extreme  point  of  Cape  May. 
The  Trenton  Association  formed  in  1865,  inaugurated  a  new  feature  of 
Associational  missions  for  waste  places,  within  its  bounds.  Pastor  S. 
V.  Marsh  of  Eatontown,  called  the  attention  of  the  Missionary  Commit- 
tee of  the  Association  to  certain  lots  at  Long  Branch  and  they  were 
bought  by  the  committee  in  anticipation  of  building  on  them  a  Baptist 
meeting  house.  A  statement  in  the  sketch  of  the  Long  Branch  church 
in  the  minutes  of  1891,  that  Rev.  William  V.  Wilson  bought  the  lots 
in  1873,  is  a  mistake.  He  loaned  to  the  committee  two  hundred  dollars 
to  buy  the  lots,  giving  time  to  collect  it.  The  Association  paid  for 

Ten  years  later,  1883,  steps  were  adopted  by  the  Association  to 
build  a  house  on  the  lots.  With  the  generous  co-operation  of  the 
community,  the  funds  were  collected  and  in  July  1886,  the  house  was 
dedicated  under  pastor  William  G.  Russell  of  Eatontown.  To  the 
churches  of  the  Trenton  Association,  is  due  the  credit  of  buying  the 
lots  and  to  building  the  church  edifice  at  Long  Branch.  There  are 
on  the  sea  shore  of  New  Jersey,  now,  about  twenty  Baptist  churches, 


all  having  houses  of  worship  built  within  its  limits  through  the  Trenton 

On  February  10th,  1886,  thirteen  Baptist  residents  in  and  near 
Long  Branch  met  and  organized  the  Long  Branch  Baptist  church. 
For  months,  Pastor  Russell  of  Eatontown  was  their  supply  and  be- 
came pastor  July  1st,  1886.  In  that  summer,  plans  for  a  parsonage 
and  a  baptistry  in  the  church  edifice  were  adopted.  Mr.  Russell 
resigned  in  1891.  Succeeding  pastors  were:  C.  P.  P.  Fox,  1891-94. 
The  house  of  worship  was  nearly  destroyed  by  fire  in  March  1892. 
But  in  two  years,  a  larger  and  better  house  was  in  readiness  for  the 
church.  G.  B.  Lawson  followed,  1894-96;  George  Williams,  1896-99; 
W.  H.  Marshall,  1899-1900.  The  pastors  at  EatontowTi  endorsed  the 
Long  Branch  movement  and  Mr.  Russell  was  the  first  pastor  there. 
Five  pastors  have  served  the  church.  It  is  but  just  to  credit  the  Bap- 
tist brethren,  sojourners  from  New  York  and  from  other  places, 
with  generously  aiding  the  church  with  both  their  financial  means  and 
by  their  active  Christian  influence  alike  in  building  the  material  temple, 
and  in  the  support  of  the  church,  fully  sharing  in  its  current  expenses. 




Second  Middletown  is  a  misleading  name .  Holmdel  was  originally 
second  Middletown  and  Keyport  was  organized  as  third  Middletown. 
This  body  was  fourth  Middletown.  In  1877,  the  misnomen  was  cor- 
rected and  Navesink,  substituted  for  second  Middletown.  The  church 
was  located  in  Riceville  amid  the  Navesink  hills,  south  and  east  of 
Atlantic  Highlands.  Before  1850,  first  Middletown  built  a  chapel  in 
Riceville  in  which  the  pastor  preached  and  where  devotional  meetings 
were  held.  Mr.  Roberts,  the  predecessor  of  Mr.  Stout  in  first  Middle- 
town  had  done  much  mission  work  in  that  vicinity  about  six  or  seven 
miles  from  Middletown  village.  Intemperance  was  a  universal  curse 
along  shore  of  both  Navesink  river  and  of  the  Raritan  bay.  Pastor 
Roberts  had  been  a  pioneer  in  the  temperance  cause. 

There  was  a  family  of  Leonards  in  this  section;  Baptists  of  the 
wide  awake  active  and  godly  sort.  A  son,  Richard  A.  Leonard  was  a 
man  of  the  highest  type  of  practical  active  piety.  He  was  a  deacon  of 
first  Middletown  as  his  father  had  been.  The  son's  benevolence  was 
very  real.  It  is  known  to  the  writer,  that  in  a  year,  when  his  crops 
on  his  farm  failed,  in  place  of  having  nothing  to  give,  he  had  a  note 
discounted  in  bank  for  the  full  sum  of  his  contributions  at  home  and 
abroad  and  paid  them  as  usual.  He  was  an  industrious  man,  not  having 
time  for  gossip  on  the  -pros  and  cons  of  benevolence.  A  brother  called 
upon  him  for  help  to  build  their  meeting  house,  being  told  where  he 
was,  the  man  drove  thither  and  hearing  him  coming,  plowing  corn, 
waited  till  Mr.  Leonard  was  near  and  calling  and  telling  his  business, 
Mr.  Leonard  exclaimed:  "Put  me  down  a  hundred  dollars,"  and 
called  to  his  horse  "Get  up,  Bess."  His  friend  was  amused;  had  a 
lesson  on  not  losing  time.  The  writer  had  also  an  experience  of  Mr. 
Leonard's  way,  at  the  meetings  in  Eatontown  in  the  winter  of  1845  and 
1846.  Though  living  twelve  miles  distant,  Mr.  Leonard  would  drive  to 
the  village,  with  the  pastor,  visited  and  prayed  with  every  family  in 
the  town.  It  is  known  to  the  writer,  that  a  company  of  fishermen 
were  on  the  shore  of  the  Navesink  river  talking  on  the  faults  of  Chris- 
tians. When  Mr.  Leonard  suddenly  came  from  a  defile  in  the  hills. 
Seeing  him,  they  exclaimed:  "There  comes  a  good  man,"  and  he  was 
a  good  man 


The  organization  of  the  Navesink  church  arose  from  certain  in- 
fluences. Two  parties  were  in  first  Middletown  church,  positive  tem- 
perance men  and  anti-temperance  men:  i.  e.  under  given  conditions 
they  used  intoxicants  and  opposed  total  abstinence  as  a  condition  of 
church  membership.  The  Leonards,  a  large  and  influential  family 
were  very  outspoken  on  the  subject  of  temperance.  A  serious  division 
of  the  church  impended  and  was  only  hindered  by  the  organization 
of  the  Navesink  church  by  the  temperance  party.  In  July,  fifty-five 
members  were  dismissed  from  first  Middletown  to  constitute  the  Nave- 
sink church.  Among  the  number  was  Rev.  Thomas  Roberts,  a  former 
pastor  of  Middletown.  Mr.  Roberts  consented  to  supply  the  young 
church  tiU  a  pastor  was  obtained.  The  arrangement  deferred  a  call 
for  a  pastor  till  the  infirmities  of  age,  demanded  the  relief  of  Pastor 
Roberts,  who  had  ministered  to  the  Navesink  church  for  four  years. 
Mr.  Roberts  died  in  1865,  eighty-two  years  old. 

Pastors  who  followed  were:  E.  S.  Browe,  1858-62;  W.  B.  Harris, 
1862-67;  J.  J.  Baker,  1868-79;  C.  T.  Douglass,  1879-85;  W.  B.  Harris, 
1889-93.  The  location  of  the  church  was  not  congenial  to  growrh  and 
yet,  nearly  one  hundred  were  added  to  the  church  by  baptism  in  its 
years  at  Riceville.  During  Mr.  Baker's  charge,  the  old  parsonage,  a  long 
distance  from  the  church  edifice  was  sold  and  another  bought  near  the 
meeting  house.  This  year,  also,  the  name  of  the  church  was  changed 
to  Navesink.  Deacon  R.  A.  Leonard  died  in  this  pastorate,  having 
held  the  office  from  the  organization  of  the  church  till  his  death  in  May, 
1877.  He  was  superintendent  of  Middletown  Sunday  school  and 
then  of  Navesink  till  he  died,  forty-two  years.  While  Mr.  Douglass 
was  pastor,  a  new  house  of  worship  was  built  and  occupied  inl883. 

Important  changes  were  taking  place  in  Atlantic  Highlands,  in- 
volving the  absorption  of  Navesink  Church  by  one  or  more  Baptist 
churches  in  centers  of  increasing  population.  These  interests  took 
shape  in  1888.  It  was  decided  in  that  year,  to  divide  the  church  into 
two  branches,  wdth  the  expectation  that  the  Highland  Branch  (now 
first  Atlantic  Highlands)  would  soon  be  constituted  a  church.  Several 
families  of  the  Leonards  had  already  moved  there  and  a  very  creditable 
house  of  worship  had  been  built.  The  Lord's  Day  morning  service 
had  also  been  transferred  from  RiceviUe  to  that  branch  and  Rev.  W. 
B.  Harris,  an  old  pastor,  had  charge  of  the  Navesink  branch  church 
till  the  organization  of  the  "Central  Atlantic  Highlands,"  church  in 
1893.  Thus  the  Navesink  church  conserved  Baptist  interests  in  this 
field  of  first  Middletown  church  and  l^ecame  two  Baptist  churches. 

In  1889,  one  hundred  and  seven  were  dismissed  to  constitute  first 
Atlantic  Highlands  church.     Four  years  later,  in  1893,  "the  Central 


Atlantic  Highlands  churcli".  Riceville  has  thus  become  the  field  of  the 
Central  Atlantic  Highlands  church. 

First  Atlantic  Highlands  and  Central  Atlantic  Highlands  are  so 
identified  with  Navesink  church  and  with  each  other,  that  their  history 
is  involved  in  that  of  Naves'nk.  A  church  edifice  for  first  Atlantic 
Highlands  was  built  in  1884.  In  July,  1888,  the  Navesink  church 
divided  itself  into  two  branches  and  observed  the  Lord's  Day  morning 
service  and  the  house  of  the  first  Atlantic  church.  But  the  incon- 
veniences of  this  arrangement  were  so  real  that  morning  worship  was 
returned  to  Navesink  and  the  Atlantic  Highland  branch  provided 
supplies  for  itself.  Rev.  E.  Loux  was  engaged  for  that  office.  The 
Divine  blessing  was  upon  his  labors  and  many  converts  were  baptized 
into  the  fellowship  of  that  "Branch." 

Eventually,  one  hundred  and  seven  members  of  the  Navesink 
church  were  dismissed  to  constitute  the  first  Atlantic  Highlands  Bap- 
tist church.  These  and  those  whom  Mr.  Loux  had  baptized  were  in 
all,  one  hundred  and  twenty-six,  and  the  first  Atlantic  Highlands 
Baptist  church  was  recognized  in  the  ensuing  February.  In  March, 
1890,  Mr.  Loux  was  called  to  be  pastor.  He  resigned  for  special  reasons 
in  April  1893.  The  reasons  are  given  in  the  history  of  the  Central 
BaptLst  church  of  Atlantic  Highlands.  Rev.  H.  W.  Hillier  followed 
Mr.  Loux  in  1893,  remaining  till  1900.  Rev.  H.  S.  Quillen  settled  in 
1899,  and  was  pastor  in  1900.  The  church  has  not  grown  as  antici- 
pated since  its  organization  and  i*  is  due  to  two  reasons.  One,  location. 
Family  interests  determined  the  choice,  rather  than  the  convenience 
of  residents.  Another,  the  organization  of  the  Central  Atlantic  High- 
lands church.  To  this  body  the  First  church  contributed  forty-nine 
of  its  members  before  the  resignation  of  Pastor  Loux,  indicating  the 
better  location  of  the  "Central"  church. 

The  preference  of  Mr.  Loux  for  the  location  of  the  "Central  church" 
induced  his  resignation  of  the  pastorate  of  the  first  church.  The 
churches  are  not  far  apart,  but  are  not  convenient  to  each  other.  A 
malarial  space  cutting  off  the  first  church  from  the  picturesque  and 
healthier  resident  part  of  the  Highlands.  This  may,  however,  be  in 
time  removed. 

Central  Atlantic  Highlands  Baptist  church  was  constituted  in 
April  1893,  with  ninety-eight  members.  Pastor  Loux  of  first  Atlantic 
Highlands  church,  preferred  tha+  the  first  church  remove  to  the  site 
chosen  for  the  Central  church,  than  that  forty-nine  members  be  dis- 
missed from  the  first  church  to  unite  in  the  constitution  of  the  Central 
church.  Inasmuch,  as  this  could  not  be  done  unanimously,  the  other 
alternative  was  to  dismiss  the  forty-nine  who,  with  one  other  Baptist 


numbered  fifty,  making  a  coustituency  of  ninety-eight  for  the  Central 
church.  With  the  organization  of  the  Central  church,  the  Navesink 
church  disappears,  its  property  was  transferred  to  the  Central  church. 
Pastors  of  the  Navesink  body  and  all  other  members  are  on  the  register 
of  the  "Central"  church  and  it  is  the  Navesink  church,  including  its 

In  1893,  Rev.  F.  C.  Colby  became  pastor  and  a  large  and  costly 
house  was  begun.  It  is  said  to  seat  more  than  a  thousand  persons 
and  to  have  cost  many  thousand  dollars.  There  is  scarcely  more  evi- 
dence of  incapacity  than  the  folly  of  such  an  enterprise.  The  pastor 
ought  to  have  had  weight  enough  to  prevent  this  blunder.  There 
was  not  need  of  such  a  house  and  of  its  vast  cost.  The  church  has  been 
burdened  by  its  debt,  which  but  for  this  mistake,  might  have  been  a 
large  and  efficient  body.  Mr.  Colby  resigned  in  1897  and  escaped  from 
a  coming  woe,  a  debt  that  if  it  did  not  swamp  the  church,  it  was  saved 
by  a  successor  at  vast  cost.  The  people  deserved  a  better  leadership. 
Rev.  W.  H.  Shermer  en,  ered  the  pastorate  in  1897.  Death  terminated 
his  usefuUness  the  same  year.  He  was  a  true  and  good  man.  Whether 
hopeless  of  bringing  relief  to  the  church  had  aught  to  do  with  his  death 
is  not  stated.  In  1898,  Rev.  J.  S.  Russell  became  pastor  and  is  now 
(1900)  ministering  to  the  church.  While  only  nine  years  have  gone 
since  the  church  was  organized,  three  pastors  have  served  the  church. 
One  of  whom  died  in  the  year  of  his  settlement. 

Rev.  A.  B.  MacLaurin  became  pastor  in  1901.  Under  his  able 
leadership  the  large  outstanding  debt  was  wiped  out.  May  1903. 

Much  the  same  causes  originated  the  New  Monmouth  church  as 
originated  Navesink  church.  All  of  the  temperance  element  had  not 
gone  into  the  Navesink  church.  Many  older  men  and  women,  who 
in  practice,  were  in  sympathy  with  "Total  Abstinence"  still  thought 
that  a  "little"  for  some  people  as  allowable.  They  had  been  accustomed 
to  its  use  and  to  the  habits  of  a  former  generation.  Neither  was  the 
pastor  as  outspoken  as  Mr.  Roberts  had  been  and  such  sheltered  under 
his  neutrality.  Mr.  Stout,  personally,  was  right  in  his  views  and 
practice.  But  he  loved  peace  and  thus  there  was  a  temperance  and  an 
anti-temperance  party  in  the  church.  An  unhappy  condition  in  a 
church  on  a  moral  question.  In  another  body,  there  would  have  been 
dissention.  Thus  it  was,  that  north  of  Middletown  village,  sixty-three 
members  called  for  letters  of  dismission  and  on  April  28th,  1854,  organ- 
ized Port  Monmouth  Baptist  church.  Rev.  William  V.  Wilson  had 
been  pastor  at  Navesink  in  1853.  Resigning  there  at  the  end  of 'one 
year,  he  accepted  a  call  to  Port  Monmouth  in  1854.  A  house  of  wor- 
ship was  built  immediately,  on  a  lot  at  New  Monmouth  and  in  1899 


the  name  of  the  church  was  changed  from  Port  Monmouth  to  "New 
Monmouth."  The  meeting  house  was  opened  for  worship  in  January 
1856.  An  active  Christian  hfe  was  early  developed.  A  chapel  was 
built  at  Port  Monmouth  in  1855.  The  nearness  of  New  Monmouth 
to  first  Middletown  and  if  Pastor  Wilson  had  accepted  a  proposal  to 
succeed  Mr.  Stout,  when  he  had  died,  in  1875,  a  return  of  New  Mon- 
mouth church  to  the  mother  church  would  have  been  effected.  Pastor 
Wilson  resigned  in  1892,  having  been  pastor  about  thirty-eight  years. 

Rev.  C.  E.  Weeks  became  pastor  in  March  1892;  his  stay  was 
short.  In  October  1894,  Rev.  P.  A.  H.  Kline  settled  as  pastor.  But 
he  died  in  the  next  June,  1895.  Mr.  Kline  was  a  devoted  and  emi- 
nently useful  minister  of  the  Gospel.  With  their  venerated  minister 
living  among  them,  they  were  in  no  haste  to  get  a  pastor.  However, 
in  February  1896,  Rev.  G.  C.  Williams  entered  the  pastorate.  But 
there  was  a  vacancy  at  the  end  of  a  year,  when  Rev.  M.  M.  Finch  took 
charge  of  the  church  in  December  1898  and  was  pastor  in  1900.  New 
Monmouth  has  a  small  field,  and  could  be  consolidated  with  first 
Middletown,  especially  as  the  cause  of  its  separation  in  1854,  has  wholly 
disappeared  and  the  mother  church  can  as  well  as  not  occupy  the 
field  where  two  churches  exist. 




Many  of  the  settlers  in  the  locaUty  of  Piseataway  were  from  Pis- 
cataway  river  dividing  the  provinces  of  Maine  and  New  Hampshire 
and  they  called  their  Jersey  home  by  that  of  their  New  England  home. 
Linking  thus  the  memories  of  persecution  and  of  escape  from  bondage 
and  of  freedom.  The  colonists  were  usually  Baptists  and  presumably 
had  been  identified  with  a  Baptist  church  before  their  coming  to  New 
Jersey.  Piseataway  and  Baptists  are  synomonous.  Their  early 
history  is  obscure.  Maine  was  an  appendage  of  Massachusetts,  and 
Puritan  intolerance  could  as  well  reach  them  in  their  hiding  in  the  wilds 
as  in  the  nearer  dwellings.  New  Jersey,  Pennsylvania  and  Rhode 
Island  were  the  only  colonies  in  which  free  speech  and  free  confession 
of  God  was  allowed  despite  New  England's  Uttleness  and  conceit.  New 
Jersey  by  its  charter  and  its  colonists  assured  to  its  settlers  not  only 
civil  equality  and  religious  liberty,  but  special  educational  advantages 
were  accorded  there  only  in  North  America.  The  first  free  public 
school  was  in  New  Jersey  in  1668.  (Report  of  State  Board  of  Educa- 
tion, August  31st,  1879.) 

The  charter  of  Bergen  of  September  22nd,  1668,  granted  by  Sir 
Philip  Carteret,  governor  of  the  colony  province  of  New  Jersey,  "stipu- 
lated that  all  persons  should  contribute  according  to  their  estates  and 
proportions  of  land  for  the  keeping  of  a  free  school  for  the  education 
of  our  youth."  (xn  Literature  Co.,  94,  Page  201.  See  also.  Page  191.) 
Prof.  Newman  in  his  invaluable  history  of  Baptists  in  the  United 
States  says:  "It  is  one  of  the  marvels  of  history  that  such  a  king  as 
Charles  II.  should  have  sold  to  such  a  man  as  WiUiam  Penn,  so  large 
and  so  valuable  a  territory  as  Pennsylvania  on  terms  so  highly  favor- 
able to  religious  freedom  and  with  the  certainty  that  it  would  be  used 
for  the  freest  development  of  what  was  then  regarded  as  one  of  the 
worst  forms  of  radical  Christianity."  But  Pennsylvania  and  New 
Jersey  had  pre^'iously  been  largely  settled  by  the  Hollanders,  who 
had  enjoyed  for  years,  the  liberties  they  guaranteed  to  their  colonies. 
No  other  colonies  had  larger  freedom.  Rhode  Island  Charter  might  be 
revoked  at  any  time. 

But  the  charters  of  Pennsylvania  and  New  Jersey  held  Charles  II 
and  the  "Stewarts"  under  obligations,  which  even  Charles  II.  dared 
not  ignore.     William  Penn  was  the  son  of  Admiral  Penn,  who  had 


rendered  services  to  Charles  I  in  the  Civil  War,  which  Charles  II  wa« 
glad  to  remunerate.  William  Penn  was  a  "Friend."  The  Quakers 
stood  aloof  from  the  Parliament  party  and  aided  friends  and  foes  in 
their  need.  Anthony  Sharp  the  (writer's  maternal  ancester)  gralu- 
ously  clothed  the  ragged  army  of  Charles  I.  The  Welsh  also,  were  not 
of  the  Parliament  party.  These  and  the  Quakers  were  the  chief  colonists 
of  Pennsylvania  and  of  New  Jersey.  Anthony  Sharp  and  other  wealthy 
Quakers  had  bought  large  tracts  of  land  in  New  Jersey,  whither  they 
sent  their  persecuted  and  needy  "Friends"  giving  them  a  home.  Thus 
the  "Stewarts"  were  under  obligations  they  dared  not  deny  and  these 
colonies  had  claims  above  any  other.  At  this  time,  it  was  well  known 
in  court  and  in  the  kingdom  that  wealth  and  position  were  valueless 
to  men  who  preferred  their  "rights"  to  their  lives  and  w^ere  ready  to 
endure  any  wrong  than  deny  their  Faith;  men  who  knew  that  conscience, 
duty  and  liberty  arc  Divine  gifts,  which  God  only  may  Hmit. 

The  thoughtful  will  note  how  thus,  the  minutia  of  Jehovah's  plan 
affects  and  effects  the  mightiest  forces  for  the  betterment  of  mankind. 
A  lowly,  unkno-mi  man  confers  a  good  upon  the  hunted  Loyalis*^,wlio 
expiates  on  the  scaffold,  the  wrongs  he  had  committed  against  the 
"rights"  of  humanity  and  a  fugitive  son  regaining  a  throne,  recalls 
the  ministry  of  the  lowly  man  and  uses  his  power  to  restore  to  mankind 
the  "rights"  the  Father  had  denied. 

Judging  by  their  names,  the  pioneer  settlers  of  New  Jersey  were 
of  various  nations.  Holland,  France,  England,  Ireland,  Scotland  and 
Germany  were  among  them,  reminding  us  of  the  early  and  constant 
mission  of  the  Gospel  "to  all  men."  Neither  wife  or  child  is  mentioned 
as  included  in  the  emigrant  company;  there  were  such  however.  The 
names  of  but  six  men  are  said  to  have  constituted  Piscataway  church 
in  1686.  A  year  before  1685,  a  town  house  was  built  and  the  Baptists 
are  stated  to  have  swarmed  into  it  and  preached.  The  building  com- 
mittee was  composed  largely  of  Baptists.  Hugh  Dunn,  a  constituent 
of  the  church,  came  to  the  place  in  1666;  Drake  in  1669-70.  Dunham 
was  of  age  in  1682  and  assumed  the  leadership.  Each  of  these  three 
were  lay  preachers.  John  Drake  was  the  finst  ordained  pastor.  In- 
stead of  the  constitution  of  the  church  having  been  in  1689,  Mr.  O.  B. 
Leonard,  authority  in  such  case,  states  that  it  was  in  1686.  The 
same  mistake  occurs. in  the  date  of  the  origin  of  Middletown  church, 
commonly,  it  is  said  to  have  been  in  1688,  it  was  known  to  have  been 
twenty,  if  not  more  years  earlier,  in  1668.  Pastor  Stelle  wrote  a  history 
of  the  Piscataway  church  in  1746;  states  that  it  was  organized  in  1686. 
Mr.  Killingsworth  is  known  to  have  been  in  Piscataway  in  1686,  "being 
a   witness  to  a  will"  that  year,  and  Mr.  Stelle  says:    "Mr.  Killings- 


worth  first  settled  this  church  about   1686  and  preached  the  Gospel 
to  them  a  considerable  time." 

Pastor  Drake  was  ordained  1710-15  and  was  pastor  until  1729  and 
then  on  account  of  old  age  ceased  preaching  being  seventy-five  years 
old.  He  died  in  1741,  having  been  pastor  nearly  fifty-five  years,  but 
administered  the  ordinances  till  his  last  illness.  These  data  were  given 
by  Mr.  O.  B.  Leonard  whose  familiarity  with  the  wills  and  deeds  and 
original  sources  of  information  endow  him  as  an  authority  on  all  items 
of  earlj^  history.  The  lack  of  mention  of  wives  and  daughters  was  not 
because  of  depreciation  of  them,  as  this  extract  shows: 

"The  old  Constitution  of  New  Jersej',  adopted  in  1776,  provided 
that  "All  inhabitants  of  this  Colony,  of  full  age,  who  are  worth  fifty 
l>ounds  proclamation  mone}',  clear  estate  in  the  same,  and  have  resided 
within  the  coimty  in  which  they  claim  a  vote  for  12  months  immediately 
preceding  the  election,  shall  be  entitled  to  vote,"  etc. 

"This  was  construed  literally,  as  admitting  all  persons,  male  and 
female,  white  or  colored,  having  otherwise  the  proper  qualifications, 
to  the  privilege  of  voting.  When,  in  1797,  John  Condit,  of  Newark, 
and  WiUiam  Crane  of  Elizabeth  Town,  were  rival  candidates  for  the 
Legislative  Council,  seventj'-five  women's  votes  were  polled  in  Eliza- 
beth Town  for  Mr.  Crane;  but  Mr.  Condit  was  elected.  In  the  Presi- 
dential canvass  of  1800,  the  partisans  of  John  Adams  and  Thomas 
Jefferson  availed  themselves  alike  of  this  provision;  and  females,  es- 
pecially where  the  Society  of  Friends  were  in  strength,  voted  in  con- 
siderable numbers  throughout  the  State.  The  precedent  was  sustained 
year  by  year.  At  first  only  single  women  voted;  afterwards  married 
women  also,  colored  as  well  as  white.  In  Hunterdon  county  a  citizen 
was  chosen  to  the  Legislature  by  a  majority  of  two  or  three  votes,  and 
these  were  cast  by  colored  females. 

"The  circumstance  which  led  to  the  abolition  of  this  custom  was 
the  gross  abuse  of  the  franchise  parctised  in  the  contest  over  the  bridge 
at  Elizabeth  Town  in  1807,  a  bridge  from  Elizabeth  Point  to  Bergen 
Point  across  Newark  Bay.  This  bridge  would  open  a  route  from  New 
York  to  Philadelphia  through  Elizabeth  Town,  to  the  detriment  of 
Newark,  and,  therefore,  the  Newark  people  hotly  opposed  it.  When 
the  day  for  deciding  the  contest  arrived  (Feb.  10)  the  excitement  was 
intense.  Everybody  who  could  pssibly  claim  a  vote  was  brought  to 
the  polls — not  males  only,  but  females,  both  white  and  colored.  It 
was  charged  that  not  a  few  of  these,  by  change  of  dress,  voted  more 
than  once,  and  this  whether  worth  £50  or  not.  The  population  of 
Essex  county  was  computed  to  be  22,139.  Never  before  had  more 
than  4,500  votes  been  cast  in  the  county  at  any  one  election.    On  this 


occasion  the  votes  polled  were  13,857  more  than  half  of  the  whole 
population.  So  glaring  were  the  frauds  parcticcd  that  the  election  was 
set  Jiside  by  the  Legislature,  November  28th,  1807,  and  the  law  author- 
izing it  annulled.  Tne  qualifications  of  voters  also  were  more  strictly 
defined,  and  none  but  free  white  males,  of  21  years,  worth  £50,  were 
allowed  the  elective  franchise  " 

There  were  a  great  army  of  martyrs  who  died  rather  than  deny 
Christ.  They  were  an  efficient  force  in  our  churches  were  essential 
to  the  Christian  activities  of  modern  times.  After  Cohansic,  their 
names  appear  as  constituents,  beginning  with  first  Cape  May  in  1712. 
The  names  of  the  early  settlers  in  Piscataway  are  multiplied  into  legions 
and  are  scattered  over  nine  counties. 

In  1709,  the  membership  of  the  church  was  reduced  to  twenty. 
The  secession  of  Mr.  Dunham  and  whom  he  could  influence  to  accept 
the  Seventh  Day  theory;  the  discord  growing  out  of  division  and  the 
activity  of  the  seceders,  explain  this  low  estate.  Even  under  the  most 
hopeful  conditions;  the  sparse  population,  the  newness  of  the  people 
to  each  other  and  to  the  country  allowed  small  room  for  church  work. 
After  the  ordination  of  Mr.  Drake,  however,  a  great  improvement 
came.  The  financial  ability  of  the  church  must  have  been  limited. 
Probably  he  cared  for  himself,  as  the  custom  was,  when  pastors  lived 
on  their  own  farms  or  having  a  parsonage  farm,  derived  their  support 
from  it.  Ordinarily,  pastors  then  acquired  a  competencey  for  their 
old  age.  Some  of  them  had  large  estates.  Missions  and  benevolences 
were  few,  the  minister  shared  in  abundant  benefactions  from  their 
people.  Then  too,  the  habits  of  living  were  very  plain.  Preachers 
were  not  easily  distinguished  from  their  neighbors  in  either  manners 
or  dress.  Rev.  Benjamin  Stelle  followed  Rev.  Mr.  Drake.  He  was 
born  in  New  York  City  and  was  the  son  of  a  French  Huguenot.  Mr. 
Stelle  was  ordained  when  fifty-six  years  old  in  1739.  Mr.  Stelle  was 
an  eminent  pastor  and  judge  in  the  courts.  Even  though  one  hundred 
years  have  gone  by,  his  name  is  revered.  While  pastor  for  twenty 
years,  until  his  death  in  1759,  at  the  age  of  seventy-six  years,  the  church 
had  continuous  enlargement. 

Under  his  ministry,  Scotch  Plains,  in  1747,  was  constituted.  His 
son,  Isaac  Stelle  succeeded  his  father  in  1752.  Seven  years  before 
his  father's  death,  he  was  assistant  pastor  to  his  father.  Immediately 
upon  his  father's  departure,  he  became  pastor,  continuing  twenty-two 
years  till  his  death  in  1781,  including  the  seven  years  in  which  he  was 
assistant  pastor,  his  pastorate  was  twenty-nine  years.  He  died  at 
the  age  of  sixty-three  years.  Mr.  Stelle  was  a  remarkable  man.  Pre- 
eminent as  a  preacher,  pastor  and  missionary  to  distant  parts  of  the 


country.  Morgan  Edwards  said  of  him,  and  he  was  a  most  competent 
witness;  "I  need  not  pubHsh  the  goodness  of  the  man  or  the  excellency 
of  his  preaching.  He  was  remarkable  for  his  travels  among  the  American 
churches  in  company  with  his  other  self,  Rev.  Benjamin  Miller  of 
Scotch  Plains  church,  lovety  and  pleasant  were  they  in  life  and  in 
death  they  were  not  much  divided.  The  one,  Pastor  Miller,  having 
survived  Mr.  Stelle  but  thirty-five  days." 

Rev.  Reune  Runyan  followed  Mr.  Stelle.  He  also  was  of  French 
descent;  was  born  in  Piscataway;  was  baptized  and  was  licensed  by 
the  church  in  1771.  Mr.  Runyan  was  a  great  grandson  of  the  first 
pastor,  Rev.  John  Drake.  Called  to  Morristown,  he  was  ordained 
pastor  of  that  body  in  1772,  serving  as  pastor  there,  eight  years,  re- 
turning to  Piscataway  in  1780  and  became  pastor  of  Piscataway  in  1783. 
Morgan  Edwards  says:  "His  ministry  was  -with  credit  and  success." 

The  colonies  suffered  in  the  Revolutionary  War  and  long  after  its 
end  a  constant  depletion  of  men  and  of  means.  Middleto\vai  by  an 
inheritance  of  thousands  of  dollars  from  Jonathan  Holmes,  a  grandson 
of  Obadiah  Holmes,  Sr.,  alone  escaped  the  exhaustion  which  imperilled 
our  other  churches.  Piscataway  on  the  line  of  travel  and  marches 
between  Philadelphia  and  New  York  was  ravaged  by  both  armies  as 
was  all  New  Jersey  in  the  line  of  their  marches.  Pastors  and  churches 
could  do  little  more  than  "hold  on."  In  1785,  the  membership  of  Pis- 
cataway was  only  thirty-nine,  one  less  than  when  he  settled  as  pastor 
in  1783.  Next  year,however,  a  special  revival  was  enjoyed  in  which 
seventy-eight  were  baptized  and  the  year  after,  twenty-two  were 
added  to  the  church  by  baptism.  In  1786,  Henry  Smalley  Avas  licensed 
to  preach.  Mr.  Smalley  became  pastor  at  Cohansie  and  held  the  second 
longest  pastorate  charge  of  a  Baptist  church  in  New  Jersey. 

Pastor  Runyan's  oversight  of  Piscataway  was  the  dividing  line 
between  periods  of  weakness  and  of  growth.  Up  to  and  after  1800, 
the  religious  state  of  the  nation  was  chaotic.  A  tide  of  continental 
infidelity  that  reached  its  flood  in  the  French  Revolution,overflowed 
into  America.  Jacobin  clubs  were  formed  among  the  people  and 
Washington  dismissed  the  French  Ambassador,  Genet,  on  account 
of  his  meddling  with  the  Christian  interests  of  the  nation  and  pur- 
posing to  introduce  the  infidelities  of  France.  All  the  moral  stamina 
of  Presidents  W^ashington  and  of  John  Adams  was  necessary  to  over- 
come the  influence  of  France  on  our  new  nation.  It  was  a  period  of 
the  Divine  keeping  of  the  Christianity  of  the  country,  for  what  it  was 
to  be,  in  the  relations  of  the  nation  to  humanity.  We  cannot  be  too 
grateful  for  the  elevation  of  the  two  presidents,  George  Washington 
and  John  Adams,  in  our  early  history,  especially  in  their  precedence 


of  Thomas  Jeffcrrfon.  Tho  tone  they  gave  to  the  country  had  matured 
so  positively  as  to  have  continued  in  subsequent  generations. 

There  was  an  intermission  of  the  growth  of  spirituality  in  Piscata- 
way  church;  when  in  1795,  the  church  observed  four  days  of  special 
prayer  "on  account  of  the  coldness  and  barrenness  of  the  affairs  of 
religion."  Following  this  special  season  of  prayer,  refreshing  showers 
of  grace  visited  the  people  and  this  pjistorate  of  twenty-eight  years 
closed  amid  revival  blessings.  Mr.  Runyan  died  in  1811,  seventy 
years  old.  Previous  to  his  death,  a  house  of  worship  was  built  in 
New  Brunswick  in  1810,  where  many  members  of  Piscataway  church 
lived  and  to  whom  Pastor  Runyan  ministered  as  often  as  his  years 
and  strength  allowed.  It  must  be  remembered  that  pastors  in  these 
days  were  hard  working  men  on  their  own,  or  on  a  parsonage  farm 
and  at  seventy  years,  with  pastoral  duties  and  farm  work,  their 
natural  strength  was  impaired  as  later,  relieved  of  farm  work  they 
were  not.  These  mission  movements  indicate  aggression  that  the 
crises  of  recovery  from  the  Re\'olutionary  War  and  the  anticipation 
of  the  war  of  1812,  which  bespeaks  the  reality  of  vital  piety  and 
of  financial  ability. 

On  October  12th,  1812,  Rev.  J.  McLaughlin.  He  was  the  first 
pastor  of  Piscataway  who  resigned  before  "God  took  him."  Mr. 
McLaughlin  lived  in  New  Bnmswick  and  made  another  change  quite 
important.  Preaching  in  the  morning  at  Piscataway  and  in  the  evening 
at  New  Brunswick.  Baptists  in  the  town  were  thus  associated  with 
each  other  and  having  waited  four  years,  organized  a  church  in  the 
city  in  1816,  composed  of  at  least  twenty  constituents.  Mr.  McLaughlin 
supplied  the  church  till  the  spring  of  1817.  His  measures  originated 
the  New  Brunswick  church  earlier  than  it  probably  would  have  been 
and  is  really  the  chief  agency  of  its  constitution.  The  necessity  of  a 
pastor  wholly  devoting  himself  to  the  church  in  the  city  induced  Mr. 
McLaughlin  to  limit  himself  to  Piscataway,  and  doing  so,  remained 
but  a  few  months  longer.  A  contemporary  and  deacon  of  Piscataway 
said  of  him:  "He  was  a  man  of  eminent  piety,  a  good  minister  of 
Jesus  Christ,  grave  in  his  deportment  and  unusually  solemn  in  pulpit 
address."  A  successor  wrote  of  him:  "The  memory  of  his  many 
virtues  and  faithful  labors,  is  still  fondly  cherished  by  those  who  were 
his  contemporaries  in  the  church." 

Daniel  Dodge  became  pastor  about  a  year  after  Mr.  McLaughlin 
resigned,  entering  on  his  duties  October  18th,  1818.  Pastor  Dodge 
while  actively  in  the  ministry,  was  a  foremost  man.  Not  on  accaunt 
of  being  an  eloquent  preacher,  nor  educated  or  endowed  with  natural 
gifts  of  foresight  and  wisdom,  but  because  "sound  in  faith,"  and  having 


II  certain  dignity  of  manner,  which  impressed  people  that  he  was  not 
to  be  trifled  with.  The  first  3'car  was  a  season  of  special  blessing  and 
many  were  baptized  into  the  church. 

But  his  pastorate,  almost  thirteen  years,  was  full  of  troubles. 
Questions,  questionable  were  insisted  on  by  him.  One,  the  lawful- 
ness of  marrying  a  deceased  wife's  sister.  Another,  the  laying  of  hands 
after  baptism,  a  Gospel  ordinance.  These  were  contrary  to  the  usage 
of  the  church  and  greivous  to  many  of  the  members.  Mr.  Dodge 
was  not  disposed  to  give  up  his  opinions  or  to  assent  to  any  compromise 
with  those  who  differed  with  him.  He  was  a  high-toned  Calvinist, 
a  pious  man  and  in  every  way  a  consistent  pastor  and  preacher.  His 
manner  and  speech  expressed  self-sufficiency  and  while  neither  wholly 
conceited  or  arrogant,  he  was  certain  that  he  was  right.  Appeals  to 
the  Association  were  his  dislikes  and  finally,  by  advise  of  a  "council" 
the  church  yielded  in  the  matter  of  "laying  on  of  hands  after  baptism." 
The  later  years  of  his  stay  were  peaceful.  In  fact,  the  people  were 
amiable  and  consented  to  harmless  traditions,  rather  than  quarrel. 
Mr.  Dodge  was  highly  esteemed  on  account  of  his  integrity.  He  ans- 
wered to  the  Apostle's  exhortation  to  be  steadfast,  immovable,  always 
abounding  in  the  work  of  the  Lord,  as  he  understood  it.  Mr.  Dodge 
closed  his  labors  at  Piscataway  in  1832. 

Rev.  D.  Lewis  settled  as  pastor  in  June,  1883.  Good  men  difTer 
on  things  essential  to  church  membership.  Mr.  Lewis  objected  to 
"the  laying  on  of  hands  after  baptism"  and  to,  "that  the  marriage  to  a 
sister  of  a  deceased  wife  was  incestuous."  Discontent  involved  in  these 
differences  induced  a  spiritual  drouth  for  the  time.  But  in  two  or 
three  years,  seasons  of  refreshing  cleared  the  skies,  and  showers  of 
blessing  were  renewed.  More  than  one  hundred  were  baptized  in  an 
associational  year.  The  beloved  pastor  died  in  1849,  at  the  age  of 
seventy-three  years,  having  served  the  church  seventeen  years.  One 
who  enjoyed  his  ministry  said  of  him:  "A  plain  man,  unpretentious 
to  learning  or  eloquence,  modest  and  retiring,  sound  in  the  faith,  seeking 
the  honor  of  his  Divine  Master  and  the  peace  and  harmony  of  his  people.' 
The  writer  knew  him  well.  It  could  be  justly  said  of  him:  "A  good 
man  and  full  of  the  Holy  Ghost." 

Pastor  Lewis  lived  in  Piscataway.  After  his  death,  the  church 
bought  a  parsonage  lot,  some  two  miles  distant  from  the  church  edifice 
and  built  a  fitting  residence  for  the  pastor.  It  was  occupied  by  them 
until  1869,  when  it  was  sold  and  a  larger  and  much  better  one  built 
near  the  house  of  worship. 

In  1850,  Rev.  H.  V.  Jones  late  pastor  of  1st  Newark  began  as 
pastor  in  April.     Mr.  Jones  was  noted  for  his  executive  ability.     With 


his  settlement,  dawned  an  era  of  lia-ptistic  life.  At  his  coming,  a  new 
era  began,  realized  not  only  relationship  to  the  whole  world,  but  the 
home  field  was  infused  with  great  activity.  Seemingly,  a  calamity 
occurred  on  January  1st,  1851.  The  congregation  was  gathered  for 
morning  worship,  when  fire  consumed  the  sanctuary.  While  the 
burning  was  in  progress,  a  meeting  was  held  and  most  of  the  money  to 
build  a  larger  and  modern  church  edifice  was  pledged  and  within  a  few 
months  the  building  was  completed  and  dedicated  at  a  cost  of  seven 
thousand  dollars.  A  later  pastor  writing  of  Mr.  Jones  and  of  his  pastor- 
ate says: 

"The  ministry  of  Mr.  Jones  was  greatly  honored  of  the  Lord,  both 
in  adding  souls  to  the  church  and  in  raising  the  membership  to  a  higher 
standard  of  spiritual  life  and  activity.  At  no  time  in  its  history  had 
so  much  been  accomplished  towards  awakening  the  spirit  of  benevolence 
and  securing  systematic  contributions  to  the  cause  of  Christ.  Mission- 
ary societies  were  formed,  and  the  whole  parish  was  divided  into  dis- 
tricts with  solicitors  and  collectors  in  each,  so  as  to  secure  the  co-oper- 
ation of  every  member. 

"Some  time  before  the  close  of  Mr.  Jones's  pastorate  his  health 
so  greatly  declined  as  to  disqualify  him  for  much  of  the  labor  incident 
to  so  large  a  field.  The  Church,  cherishing  a  most  hearty  appreciation 
of  his  ministry,  granted  him  from  time  to  time  indefinite  periods  of 
rest,  in  the  hope  that  he  might  recoevr  his  strength  and  for  many  years 
continue  to  go  in  and  out  before  them,  but  in  this  both  he  and  they 
were  disappointed,  and  in  March,  1856,  he  bade  a  tearful  farewell  to  a 
deeply  attached  people. 

The  first  parsonage  was  completed  in  the  first  year  of  the  settle- 
ment of  Mr.  Jones  and  a  new  church  edifice  was  built  in  the  second 
year  of  his  coming  and  was  paid  for. 

On  October  1st,  1856,  Rev.  C.  J.  Page  settled  as  pastor  and  con- 
tinued for  eleven  years.  His  ministry  was  a  continuous  blessing. 
One  hundred  were  baptized  as  the  fruit  of  one  revival.  The  patriotism 
of  his  people  was  shown  in  1862,  when  the  church  voted  to  allow  him 
to  serve  as  chaplain  in  the  Civil  War  for  nine  months  and  continued  his 
salary  while  chaplain.  Pteturning  home,  refreshings  were  enjoyed  to 
the  end  of  his  charge  in  March  1867. 

In  March  1868,  Rev.  J.  F.  Brown  entered  the  pastoral  office. 
Physical  prostration  and  not  an  appearance  of  recovery  induced  his 
resignation  in  September,  1878.  Each  year  of  his  pastorate  bore  fruit 
of  his  labors,  excepting  the  last,  when  he  was  so  enfeebled  as  to  be 
almost  entirely  laid  aside' by  prostration.     Mr.  BrowTi  was  living  in 


retirement  in  1900  at  Mullica  Hill,  honored  and  valued,  for  both  his 
work  and  for  his  personal  worth. 

From  1879  to  1895,  Rev.  J.  W.  Sarles  held  the  pastoral  office, 
sixteen  years.  The  activities  of  the  church  were  maintained;  the 
Sunday  schools  were  increased;  the  benevolence  of  the  church  was 
enlarged  and  with  rare  exceptions,  converts  were  annually  added  to 
the  church. 

This  second  Baptist  church  that  survives  its  planting,  south  of 
Rhode  Island,  has  existed  two  hundred  and  fourteen  years  and  has 
had  twelve  pastors.  Four  of  them  had  been  members  of  the  church, 
converted,  baptized,  licensed  and  three  were  licensed  and  ordained 
for  the  pastoral  office  at  their  home.  Four  were  pastors  respectively, 
fifty,  and  twenty,  and  twenty-nine  and  twenty-eight  years.  The 
intervals  of  pastorates  rarely  exceeded  a  year  and  often  only  months; 
so  that  the  church  has  had  almost  continuous  pastoral  oversight,  a 
fact  peculiar  to  itself  and  to  Cohansie.  When  it  is  considered  that  in 
this  period  was  included  the  settlement  of  the  country;  Indian  troubles; 
the  American  Revolution;  the  flood  of  French  infidelity;  the  War  of 
1812  and  the  Civil  War,  the  appreciation  by  these  people  of  the  Gospel 
and  of  their  Baptist  faith,  the  wonderment  is  beyond  expression.  The 
like  is  equally  true  of  Middletown  and  of  Cohansie  and  it  is  not  a  surprise 
that  such  disciples  should  have  endured  persecutions,  emigrant  life, 
more  than  once,  involving  the  loss  of  home  and  country  for  the  truth 
of  God  and  their  faith;  "not  counting  their  lives  dear  unto  them." 

Including  the  pastors,  whom  they  licensed  and  ordained  to  serve 
themselves,  sixteen  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach,  one  of  whom, 
Henry  Smalley,  was  pastor  at  Cohansie  forty-nine  years  and  thus  had 
the  second  longest  Baptist  pastoral  oversight  in  New  Jersey,  which 
like  to  that  of  John  Drake  at  Piscataway,  for  fifty  years  terminated 
only  at  his  death. 

The  first  House  in  which  the  Church  worshipped,  was  built  by 
the  early  settlers  of  the  township.  This  appears  from  an  item  in  the 
town  records,  taken  from  the  official  record  at  Trenton,  Liber,  4,  which 
we  copy  verbatim;  "January  18,  1685-6.  Att  the  Towne  Meetinge  then 
agreed  yt  there  should  be  a  meetinge-house  built  forthwith,  the  di- 
mensions as  followcth:  Twenty  foot  wide,  thirty  foot  Longe  and  Ten 
foot  between  joynts."  This  house  stood  in  a  small  village  now  called 
Piscataway  town,  about  one  mile  south-east  of  the  present  house  of 
worship,  and  near  the  Raritan  river.  The  village  was  for  a  long  period 
of  colonial  times  the  seat  of  justice  for  a  large  extent  of  territory,  ex- 
tending over  Middlesex  and  considerable  portions  of  the  counties  now 
known  as  Union  and  Somerset,     It  was,  doubtless,  in  this  humble 


building  that  the  Church  worshipped  from  its  organization  in  1686 
till  1748.  In  the  latter  year,  a  house,  40  by  36,  was  built  on  a  lot  of 
four  and  six-tenths  acres,  bought  of  Alexander  McDowell  in  April, 
1731.  Morgan  Edwards  speaks  of  this  house  as  "a  well-finished  house, 
but  wanting  the  necessary  convenience  of  a  stove."  The  records  of 
the  church  do  not  state  when  this  "convenience"  was  introduced. 
The  house  stood  till  1825,  the  first  year  of  Mr.  Dodge's  ministry,  when 
it  was  taken  down,  and  a  new  and  more  spacious  one  erected  on  the 
same  site  at  a  cost  of  $3,  000.  Its  size  was  52  by  42.  This  house, 
as  already  stated,  was  entirely  consumed  on  the  first  day  of  January, 
1851,  and  on  the  same  spot  was  erected  the  present  house.  Its  size 
is  68  by  52,  having  a  gallery  on  three  sides,  three  aisles,  and  a  recess 
pulpit,  with  an  addition  for  social  meetings  and  the  home  Sunday  school. 
These  four  sanctuaries,  each  larger  and  better,  indicate  the  growth  of 
the  church. 

Many  efficient  churches  have  gone  from  Piscataway  and  they 
have  multiplied  by  scores.  Houses  of  worship  were  built  at  Scotch 
Plains  and  at  Samptown  before  churches  were  organized  at  these  places. 
Piscataway  has  been  a  fruitful  vine.  Far  back  in  the  eighteenth 
century,  members  migrated  into  South  Jersey,  taking  their  Baptist 
ideas  with  them  and  there  to  they  have  had  fruitage.  Essex,  Union, 
Morris,  Middlesex  and  New  York  City  may  congratulate  themselves 
on  their  Baptist  relationship  to  this  venerable  body. 

Even  the  far  south  shared  in  its  benefactions,  through  Benjamin 
Miller  and  Isaac  Stelle,  who  sowed  Baptist  seed  in  its  wide  fields,  where 
in  the  Eatons  and  Hart  of  Hopewell,  shared.  New  Hampshire  Baptists 
lived  anew  at  Piscataway ;  Piscataway  renewed  herself  on  the  sea  shore 
in  South  Jersey,  as  did  Middletown  at  Cohansie  and  at  Hopewell  and 
in  North  Jersey,  in  the  south  and  in  New  England.  These  Baptists 
of  old  times  valued  their  convictions  of  truth  and  were  vigorous  in 
their  dissemination,  as  the  best  and  the  only  truth  of  the  Christ  and 
which  the  world  must  know  to  "inherit  eternal  life." 

Scotch  Plains  was  the  first-born  of  Piscataway  church,  organized 
in  1747.  Local  mission  work  had  developed  Baptist  strength  in  the 
neighborhood.  Its  name  was  given  to  the  locality  in  1685.  A  few 
Scotch  families  had  moved  there  in  1684-5  and  stayed  a  short  time 
and  the  name  has  clung  to  it  since.  But  few  names  characteristic  of 
Piscataway  are  among  the  constituents  of  Scotch  Plains. 

At  the  organization  of  1st  Cape  May  church  in  1712,  an  innovation 
is  the  names  of  women  as  constituents  of  the  church.  This  was  the 
first  mention  of  women  as  constituents.  Since  then,  there  has  been 
no  exception  of  the  names  of  wives  and  daughters  as  constituents.     At 


Scotch  Plains,  there  were  seven  women  and  eight  men  and  of  them 
were  the  uncle  and  aunt  of  Rev.  James  Manning,  the  first  President 
and  founder  of  Brown  University.  Later,  he  was  a  member  of  the 
ehurch,  also,  the  immediate  relatives  of  the  five  Suttons,  brothers, 
all  licentiates  of  Scotch  Plains'and  students  for  the  ministry  as  was 
Manning.  John  Sutton,  one  of  ;the  brothers,  was  an  associate  with  Mr. 
Manning  founding  Brown  University  and  a  foremost  man  of  his  day. 
In  1847,  Rev.  Mr.  Locke,  pastor  preached  a  historical  sermon  in  which 
he  names  only  thirteen  of  the  fifteen  dismissed  from  Piscataway  to 
form  Scotch  Plains  church. 

In  1742,  Baptists  agitated  the  question  of  putting  up  a  house  of 
worship  at  the  Plains,  though  the  movement  was  local,  it  had  the  co- 
operation of  the  mother  church.  The  plan  was  carried  out  in  1743. 
Tradition  reports  that  "Scotch  Plains  lent  a  hand"  to  put  up  the  build- 
ing and  that  it  was  enlarged  in  1758.  Were  young  churches  "set  up  in 
house  keeping,"  the  enthusiasm  of  their  first  love  would  be  economized 
for  growth  and  the  wretched  dwarf  age,  so  often  realized  in  the  bitter 
struggle  of  sacrifice  to  live  would  be  avoided.  The  Scotch  Plains  Baptist 
church  accepted  a  fundamental  Baptist  doctrine  of  individual  libertj' 
to  interpret  the  Scripture.  Accordingly,  at  the  first  church  meeting 
they  chose  deacons  and"Ruling  Elders." 

Many  Baptist  churches  in  earlier  days,  held  that  "Ruling  Elders" 
was  a  legitimate  Scriptural  office  for  churches.  Since  then,  views 
have  changed  and  churches  manage  their  own  affairs.  "Ruling  Elders" 
and  the  pastor  was  an  executive  committee,  a  kind  of  session,  or  con- 
sistory, doing  business  for  the  church.  The  notion  was  a  graft  from 
Presbyterian  or  Dutch  Reformed  churches.  The  church  adopted  two 
rules:  I.  That  the  office  should  be  perpetual.  II.  Its  duties  were 
stated  to  be:  To  agree  with  the  pastor  about  his  annual  salary;  on 
his  removal  or  death  to  call  another  on  trial;  to  approve  a  gifted  brother 
who  may  be  a  candidate  for  the  ministry;  to  settle  any  differences 
among  the  brethren;  to  have  the  oversight  of  the  meeting  house  and 
parsonage  lot;  to  reser^^e,  sue  for,  or  recover  any  gift  made  at  any 
time  for  the  use  of  the  church.  Later  the  duties  were  increased  for 
a  time,  to  receive  or  dismiss  members.  Good  people,  these  were  and 
they  must  have  had  great  confidence  in  their  vestry  and  enjoyed  some 
of  the  most  vexatious  business  done  for  them  and  the  church,  must 
have  been  thankful  that  they  had  so  many  good  men  to  trust  these 
things  to. 

This  plan  continued  for  many  years.  Then,  trustees  were  chosen 
for  the  conduct  of  the  financial  affairs.  The  "permanent  council" 
is    akin    to     the     'Ruling    Eldership."       This    "order"    reached   to 


and  was  in  Pastor  Millers  day.  His  many  and  long  absences  from 
home  on  misson  tours  may  have  induced  him  to  assent  to  this  arrange- 
ment for  the  relief  of  his  anxieties  when  away. 

The  house  built  in  1743,  was  in  use  for  fifteen  years.  It  was  too 
small  for  the  congregation  and  was  enlarged  in  1758  and  destroyed 
by  fire  in  the  winter  of  1816-17.  Soon  after  it  was  replaced  by  a  larger 
and  better  sanctuary,  wihch  again  was  too  small  and  in  1871,  a  beauti- 
ful building  including  all  modern  appliances  for  aggressive  work  and 
adapted  in  architectural  furnishings  and  musical  appointments,  needed 
by  refined  taste  and  culture.  Four  houses  of  worship  have  been  in 
use  since  1743.  A  parsonage  property  was  bought  in  1775.  The 
dwelling  house  on  it  was  burned  in  1786.  Another,  built  of  stone,  a 
great  improvement  in  all  respects  was  built  immediately.  Through  an 
increase  of  population  and  improvement  in  lines  of  travel  to  centers 
of  trade  the  parsonage  property  became  valuable.  The  sale  of  part  of 
it  made  possible  the  large  cost  of  the  new  church  edifice  built  in  1871, 
judged  necessary  if  the  church  would  hold  its  place  and  command  the 
influence  essential  to  its  best  welfare. 

The  church  has  shared  largely  with  other  Baptist  churches  in  the 
labors  of  eminent  pastors,  both  as  respects  their  culture,  intelligence 
and  spirituality.  Rev.  Mr.  Miller,  the  first  pastor,  when  a  young 
man  was  said  to  be  "wild  and  forward,"  which  means  that  he  was  a 
forceful  man  and  had  in  him  the  making  of  a  man  and  all  of  his  later 
life  proved  him  to  be  a  man  among  men.  His  career,  young  and  old, 
shows  that  he  had  a  "mind  of  his  own."  While  yet  "wild  and  forward," 
he  heard  a  sermon  by  Rev.  G.  Tennent,  stopped;  turned  about  and 
was  made  a  new  creature.  Morgan  Edwards  says:  "Mr.  Tennent 
christened  him,  encouraged  him  to  study  for  the  ministry."  "But  a 
sermon  at  the  christening  of  a  child  set  him  to  thinking  and  to  Bible 
searching  for  authority  for  Infant  baptism.  He  searched  in  vain. 
As  do  all.  He  became  a  Baptist,  offering  himself  to  Piscataway  church 
in  1740;  was  buried  with  Christ  in  baptism."  When  twenty-five  years 
old,  the  Scotch  Plains  church  called  him  to  be  pastor  and  he  was  or- 
dained in  February  1748. 

Mr.  Miller  was  originally  from  East  Hampton,  where  his  family 
settled.  After  the  English  conquest,  it  declared  for  no  taxationwithout 
representation.  The  first  of  the  Millers  in  East  Jersey  was  in  1700, 
coming  from  east  end  of  Long  Island  in  1686.  Under  Whitfield,  he 
was  converted  in  the  first  Presbyterian  church,  New  Brunswick. 

This  interim  when  baptized,  in  1740,  and  his  call  to  be  pastor  in 
1748,  was  probably  spent  in  preparatory  studies,  which  he  had  begun 
before  joining  Piscataway  church.     He  may  have  preached  for  Rev. 


Benjamin  Stelle  at  his  out  stations.  His  early  associations  with  Isaac 
Stolle,  son  of  Benjamin  Stelle,  of  Piscataway  began  in  this  interval. 
It  was  a  devotion  so  mutvial,  and  real  as  bound  the  two  men  for  life 
and  death.  If  one  left  his  home  the  other  accompanied  him.  Living 
for  and  unto  each  other,  and  when  death  came  to  one,  the  other  quickly 
followed.  Scotch  Plains  was  Mr.  Miller's  only  pastorate,  as  was  Pis- 
cataway Mr.  Stella's  only  charge.  Mr.  Miller  was  pastor  thirty-four 
years.  Mr.  Stelle  was  pastor  twenty-nine  years.  Mr.  Miller  was 
sixty-five  years  old  when  he  died.  Mr.  Stelle  was  sixtj^-three  years 
old  at  his  death.  A  stone  tablet  covers  Mr.  Miller's  grave.  His  people 
loved  him  and  had  this  inscription  graven  on  the  stone: 

If  grace  and  worth  and  usefulness 

Could  mortals  screen  from  Death's  arrest 

Miller  had  never  lain  in  dust 

Though  characters  inferior  must 
The  minutes  of  the  Philadelphia  Association  attest  his  earnest, 
missionary  labors  going  far,  and  for  months  from  home  on  tours  assigned 
to  him.  Isaac  Stelle  of  Piscataway  usually  accompanied  him  on  these 
trips.  The  love  of  these  men,  begun  in  early  days  was  wonderful. 
Said  Morgan  Edwards  of  them:  "Lovely  and  pleasant  were  they  in 
their  lives  and  in  their  death,  they  were  not  much  divided,  the  one 
having  survived  the  other  but  thirty-five  da3's.  Mr.  Miller's  character 
is  hard  to  be  delineated  for  want  of  originality  (in  Mr.  Edwards):  all 
that  hath  been  said  of  a  good,  laborious,  and  successful  minister  will 
apply  to  him."  Appointed  with  Mr.  Van  Horn  of  Penepack,  Pa.,  by 
the  Philadelphia  Association,  to  visit  the  Armenian  Baptist  churches 
of  N.  C,  to  have  them  come  into  our  fellowship.  Their  visit  was  a 

John  Gano  and  Mr.  Miller  were  dear  friends.  Mr.  Gano  was  a 
chaplain  in  the  army  and  after  the  surrender  of  Cornwallis,  at  York- 
town,  Va.,  he  heard  of  the  death  of  Pastor  Miller  and  said:  "Never 
did  I  esteem  a  ministering  brother  so  much  as  I  did  Mr.  Miller,  nor 
feel  so  sensibly  a  like  bereavement."  His  labors  at  Scotch  Plains 
were  very  successful.  Forty  were  baptized  the  first  year  of  its  organ- 
ization, sixty-eight  in  the  next  year. 

Inasmuch  as  Mr.  Miller  had  an  intimate  relation  to  the  beginning 
of  the  first  Baptist  church  of  New  York  City,  it  is  fitting  to  quote  from 
a  historical  sermon  preached  on  January  1st,  1813,  by  its  pastor.  Rev. 
William  Parkinson.  Mr.  Parkinson  says:  "Jeremiah  Dodge,  (originally 
of  Fishkill  Baptist  church,  later  of  New  Brunswick,  N.  J.)  settled  in 
this  city  and  opened  a  pra5'^er-meeting  in  his  own  house.  In  1745, 
(Error  in  date.     Church  of  S.  P.,  not  organized  nor  Mr.  M.  ordained. 


Mr.  Carman  possibly  was  first  in  N.  Y.,  after  1745).  Rev.  Mr.  Miller 
of  Scotch  Plains,  N.  J.,  visited  the  city  (possibly  on  the  invitation  of 
Mr.  Dodge,  who  had  heard  of  him  in  his  residence  at  New  Brunswick, 
N.  J.),  and  baptized  Joseph  Meeks.  The  prayer  meeting  was  thereafter 
held  alternately  at  the  house  of  Mr.  Weeks  and  of  Mr.  Dodge. 

After  1750,  Rev.  J.  Carman  of  Cranbury  (Hightstown)  visited 
them  and  baptized  till  their  number  was  thirteen,  when  they  were  ad- 
vised (by  Mr.  Carman?)  to  unite  themselves  to  the  church  at  Scotch 
Plains,  so  as  to  be  considered  a  "branch"  of  that  church  and  to  have 
Mr.  Miller  preach  and  administer  the  Lord's  supper  once  a  quarter; 
that  was  in  1753." 

LTnder  Mr.  Miller's  labors,  congregations  grew,  and  they  rented  a 
"rigging  loft  on  Cart  and  Horse  streets  (now  William  street)  which  they 
fitted  up  for  worship  and  used  for  three  or  four  years.  The  place  was 
sold  and  as  many  as  could  be  accomodated  worshipped  in  Mr.  J.  Meek's 
dwelling  for  a  year.  Buying  a  lot,  where  the  house  stood  in  1813, 
(Mr.  Ayer's  house  in  which  Mr.  Whitman,  the  Armenian  Baptist  minister 
preached)  they  built  a  small  house  of  worship  and  opened  it  for  worship 
March,  14th,  1760  and  increased  to  twenty-seven  members.  Letters 
of  dismission  were  asked  for  from  Scotch  Plains  in  June  12th,  1762 
and  they  were  constituted  a  Baptist  church  on  June  19th,  following 
Rev.  Mr.  Miller  of  Scotch  Plains  and  Rev.  John  Gano  of  Morristown 
being  present." 

Virtually,  Mr.  Miller  had  been  pastor  in  New  York  City  for  ten 
years  and  the  place  of  worship  was  the  second  in  which  they  had 
worshipped  and  if  the  house  built  by  the  Armenian  Baptists  is  included, 
it  was  the  third  Baptist  place  of  worship  in  New  York  City.  For 
four  years,  after  the  death  of  Pastor  Miller,  "supplies"  served  Scotch 
Plains  church. 

W.  Van  Horn  began  as  pastor  in  December,  1785.  He  w^as  a  man 
of  recognized  legal  position  and  of  social  influence.  He  was  a  member 
of  the  convention  to  form  the  first  constitution  of  Pennsylvania  and 
had  been  a  chaplain  in  the  army  of  the  American  Revolution  and  thus, 
a  suitable  pastor  to  follow  Mr.  Miller.  His  pastorate  of  twenty-one 
years  was  happy  and  useful.  Not  alone  in  accessions  of  baptized 
converts,  but  in  the  re-organization  of  the  internal  affairs  of  the  church. 
The  "Ruling  Elders"  and  the  "vestry"  were  supplanted  by  "trustees." 
The  parsonage  was  rebuilt  and  better  adapted  to  the  pastor's  use. 
Once  each  month  for  fifteen  years,  Mr.  Van  Horn  took  long  and  lonely 
rides  on  bridle  paths  and  preached  at  Morristown,  maintaining  the  life 
of  the  church  there,  so  that  the  Morristown  people  said  of  him:  "that 
he  was  the  father  of  the  church."     At  last,  broken  in  health,  the  pastor 


yielded  to  necessity  and  resigned.  Having  bought  a  homestead  in 
Ohio,  he  began  the  exacting,  weary  journey  to  it.  But  he  did  not 
reach  it.  He  died  in  Pittsburg  in  October  1807,  and  had  an  abiding 
homestead  in  the  Heavens. 

After  another  widowhood  of  a  year,  the  church  welcomed  Rev. 
Thomas  Brown  to  be  pastor.  His  relation  to  the  church  was  a  con- 
tinuous blessing.  His  pastoral  care  was  twenty  years  and  his  going 
away  was  a  sorrowful  parting.  Only  that  he  had  committed  himself, 
it  is  said  that  he  would  have  reconsidered  his  resignation.  Mr.  Brown 
had  been  a  member  of  the  first  Presbyterian  church  of  Newark,  his 
native  place.  As  is  so  universal,  the  comparison  of  his  Pre.sbyterian 
views  with  the  New  Testament,  left  no  alternative  but  to  be  a  Baptist 
and  united  with  the  first  Baptist  church  of  Newark. 

Nearly  a  year  went  by  ere  the  church  found  in  Rev.  John  Rogers, 
one,  in  whom  they  centered  their  convictions  of  his  inestimable  worth. 
A  characteristic  of  the  early  churches  was  their  wisdom  in  the  choice 
of  pastors.  Mr.  Rogers  was  a  native  of  North  Ireland  altogether 
Presbyterianized  from  Scotland.  Mr.  Rogers  was  pastor  of  a  Presby- 
terian church,  succeeding  his  father  in  its  charge.  The  New  Testament, 
however,  had  "Baptist  chapters."  (See  Pemberton  history  for  an 
account  of  the  coming  of  Mr.  Rogers  to  the  light.  Page  — ).  In 
the  twelve  years  of  his  charge  at  Scotch  Plains,  the  church  shared  largel}' 
in  revival  power.  The  pastor  was  in  heartfelt  sympathy  with  every 
good  thing.  Home  and  Foreign  Missions  were  his  delight  and  he  was 
one  of  the  constituents  of  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  State  Convention. 
New  Jersey  and  New  York  were  united  in  the  New  York  Association 
and  Pastor  Rogers  was  appointed  to  preach  the  first  missionary  sermon 
before  the  Association.  His  influence  and  ministry  always  developed 
Christian  activity.  The  mantle  of  his  benevolence  and  active  piety 
has  fallen  upon  his  son,  A.  W.  Rogers,  M.  D.,  of  Paterson,  N.  J.,  than 
whom  few  excel  in  wise  plans  both  for  home  and  abroad. 

When  Pastor  Rogers  resigned ,  Scotch  Plains  had  a  new  experience 
The  Divine  Teacher  himself  had  warned  us  against  deceivers.  A  man 
who  had  been  Methodist,  Presbyterian,  and  now  Baptist,  won  the 
office  of  pastor.  Tried,  exposed,  and  excluded,  he  ended  a  ministerial 
career  of  a  "wolf  in  sheep's  clothing."  The  independency  of  Baptist 
churches  hastens  the  exposure  of  bad  men.  There  is  neither  bishop, 
conference,  or  Presbytery  to  appeal  to  and  delay  judgement.  Such 
are  judged  by  "laymen,"  who  are  neither  a  class  or  an  order,  having 
dignities  to  maintain.  Christians  want  to  believe  the  best  of  the  bad 
and  are  easily  imposed  on,  and  this  explains  why  they  often  are. 

Rev.  W.  E.  Locke  was  pastor  1844-49.  Affairs  in  the  church  were 


disarranged  by  the  disappointments  and  discipline  of  his  predecessor. 
He  was  helped  by  his  self  confidence.  His  estimate  of  W.  E.  Locke 
and  of  his  scholarship  was  sufficiently  high.  An  illustration  of  his 
Rhetoric  occurred  in  a  sermon  the  writer  heard  before  an  association. 
Referring  to  the  office  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  he  exclaimed  with  enthusiasm 
"and  the  still  small  voice  of  the  Holy  Spirit  will  come  to  him  with  the 
roar  of  a  lion."  A  historical  discourse  at  the  centennial  of  the  church 
was  a  creditable  history  of  the  one  hundred  years  it  memorialized. 
Prior  to  his  resignation,  he  preached  on  baptism  and  disposed  of  the 
errors  of  our  Pedo  Baptist  brethren  effectively  and  settled  all  questions 
of  mode  and  subjects  of  baptism.  Later  he  resigned  and  united  with 
the  Presbyterian  Church.  His  sommersault  following  his  assertion 
of  conscientious  conviction,  had  the  effect  at  Scotch  Plains,  of  regret 
that  he  had  not  first  united  with  another  denomination  and  then 
preached  on   baptism. 

Rev.  J.  E.  Rue,  who  followed  Mr.  Locke,  settled  in  1850.  In  the 
midst  of  a  gracious  revival,  Mr.  Rue  was  smitten  with  illness  and  only 
enough  recovered  to  follow  his  companion  to  her  burial.  Both  sickness 
and  death,  after  four  years  of  active  and  to  the  church,  profitable 
service  compelled  him  to  resign  and  to  seek  a  home  in  a  mild  climate,  and 
some  years  later,  when  visiting  near  Hightstown,  he  was  called  higher. 

Pastor  J.  F.  Brown  became  pastor  in  April  1854.  He  had  been 
bom  in  Scotch  Plains  in  the  pastorate  of  his  father.  This  was  the 
second  time  he  had  followed  his  father.  The  ensuing  si.x  years  were 
gladdened  with  many  returns  of  his  efficient  labor. 

On  the  eve  of  the  Civil  War,  in  December  1860,  Rev.  William 
Luke  entered  on  charge  of  the  church.  All  social  and  religious  interests 
were  affected  injuriously  by  the  excitements  of  the  day.  In  the  six 
years  of  his  pastoral  care,  Mr.  Luke  was  true  to  the  calls  of  humanity 
and  of  country.  Alienation  due  to  the  political  conviction  of  the 
people  pervaded  every  interest  and  it  was  most  trying  to  endure  and 
be  faithful.  On  January  1st,  1867,  Mr.  Luke  resigned  and  two  years 
after  entered  on  his  reward  on  high. 

Mr.  J.  C.  Buchanan  had  graduated  from  college  in  1866  and  on 
July  1st,  1867,  accepted  the  charge  of  the  church  in  Scotch  Plains  and 
was  ordained  the  next  October.  His  father  had  been  for  many  years 
an  honored  deacon  of  the  Cherryville  church.  The  new  pastor  was 
greeted  with  tokens  of  revival  blessings.  Since  the  end  of  the  Civil 
War,  time  had  soothed  the  animosities  gendered  by  it;  the  way  was 
opening  for  the  activities  of  piety  and  the  drouth  induced  by  the  strifes 
of  former  years  was  yielding  to  the  hallowed  influence  of  peace.  In 
1870,  a  large  and  beautiful  house  of  worship  was  built.     It  was  ded- 


icated  in  1872  and  included  modern  appliances.  Mr.  Buchanan  accept- 
ed a  call  to  another  church  and  resigned  in  1878. 

The  succession  of  pastors  to  1900  is:  U.  B.  Guiscard,  1879-83; 
J.  H.  Parks,  1883-93;  J.  S.  Breaker,  1894-98;  G.  M.  Shott,  1899-1904. 

Many  members  have  been  licensed  to  preach,  mostly  in  the  first 
seventy-seven  years  of  the  life  of  the  church.  Of  these  were  five  broth- 
ers, Suttons,  descendants  of  a  constitutent  of  the  church.  Two  of 
them,  David  and  John,  were  licensed  in  1758  and  they  were  ordained 
at  the  same  time  in  1761.  John  was  a  foremost  man  and  was  appointed 
with  James  Manning,  also  of  Scotch  Plains,  by  a  committee  of  the 
Philadelphia  Association  to  go  to  Rhode  Island  to  arrange  for  the 
founding  of  BrowTi  University.  James  Manning,  first  President  of 
Brown  University  was  a  son  of  a  constituent  of  the  church.  Jacob 
F.  Randolph  was  a  deacon  of  the  church  and  licensed  in  1791.  He 
was  pastor  at  Mt.  Bethel,  then  at  Samptown,  led  out  a  colony  that 
became  first  Plainfield  and  was  its  pastor  till  he  died.  O.  B.  Brown, 
another  licentiate,  was  pastor  of  the  first  Baptist  church,  Washington, 
D.  C.  In  fact  there  ought  to  be  no  distinction  by  the  mention  of  these 
names.  All  of  them  were  most  worthy  men,  who  "hazarded  their  lives 
for  Christ,"  and  who  counted  not  the  cost  of  sacrifice  and  service 
for  Christ. 

This  isolated  country  church  has  a  large  place  in  the  educational 
records  of  our  denomination  in  America.  Two  of  her  sons  have  had 
committed  to  them,  the  question  of  time,  of  place,  of  what  and  of  how, 
the  foundations  of  the  educational  interests  of  coming  millions  should 
be  laid.  In  this  particular,  the  Hopewell  church  only  can  be  named 
in  the  same  category.  That  church,  having  had  first  committed  to 
her  the  same  charge,  which  was  so  WTetchedly  wrecked  for  Baptist 
educational  interests  wrested  by  a  foreign  body,  from  the  only  colony 
that  showed  her  concern  for  education,  both  by  her  institution  of 
schools  and  by  her  legacies  in  and  for  their  support  and  developement. 


By  0.   B.  Leonard. 

James  Manning  comes  first  into  public  notice  during  1756,  as  a 
pupil  at  Hopewell.  It  will  be  remembered  that  this  pioneer  Seminary 
of  learning,  founded  that  year  by  Rev.  Isaac  Eaton,  under  the  direction 
of  the  Philadelphia  Association,  was  the  first  Baptist  school  in  America 
for  training  young  men  in  denominational  lines  for  the  ministry.     Man- 

Dr.  Manning 


ning  was  then  a  youth  in  his  eighteenth  year.  His  father,  for  whom 
he  was  named  lived  at  the  time  on  a  farm  a  few  miles  south  of  Plainfield. 
AH  early  references  to  Manning's  birthplace  were  made  as  of  "Eliza- 
bethtown,"  The  playground  of  his  childhood  was  on  the  level  fields 
watered  by  Green  Brook,  Cedar  Brook  and  Ambrose  Brook,  emptying 
into  the  Raritan  at  the  town  of  Bound  Brook.  The  associates  of 
Manning's  youth  were  children  of  Baptist  neighbors,  Fitz  Randolph, 
Drake,  Dunn,  Laing,  Martin,  Stelle,  Smalley  and  others. 

From  the  day  he  commenced  his  preparatory  course  of  mental 
training  at  Hopewell  till  he  finished  his  classical  studies  at  Princeton 
College,  Manning  was  surrounded  with  excellent  instructors  and  many 
eearnest  devoted  students,  who  in  after  years  attained  prominent 
positions  in  church  and  state. 

Besides  these,  and  foremost  of  all  helpful  environments,  was  the 
spiritual  influence  of  a  religious  home.  His  parents  were  James  Man- 
ning and  Grace  Fitz  Randolph.  Both  were  worthy  descendants  of 
early  pioneer  settlers  of  Piscataway  and  connected  with  those  who 
generations  before  planted  the  old  Piscataway  Baptist  church  1686-89. 
The  subject  of  this  sketch  was  led  to  a  serious  religious  life  under  the 
pious  teaching  and  example  of  his  instructor.  Rev.  Isaac  Eaton,  at 
Hopewell.  At  the  time  of  his  conversion  about  the  close  of  his  Academ- 
ic studies,  several  of  his  relatives  and  family  friends  were  connected 
with  the  newly  organized  Baptist  church  at  Scotch  Plains. 

From  his  Academic  studies  he  went  to  the  College  at  Princeton. 
He  graduated  in  1762  with  second  honors  in  a  class  of  twenty-one  men. 
The  next  year  on  the  23rd,  of  March,  1763,  he  married  Margaret  Stites, 
a  sister  of  Mrs.  John  Gano.  The  Stites  homestead  was  a  little  hamlet 
four  miles  from  Elizabeth  City 

Manning  had  been  authoritatively  licensed  to  preach  the  Gospel  in 
February  preceding  his  marriage.  On  April  nineteenth,  a  month 
after  being  married,  he  was  officially  ordained  to  the  Gospel  ministry. 
Both  ceremonies  were  observed  at  Scotch  Plains.  His  ordination 
services  were  participated  in  by  his  brother-in-law.  Rev.  John  Gano, 
and  Rev.  Isaac  Eaton,  his  first  instructor,  assisted  by  Rev.  Isaac  Stelle, 
pastor  of  Piscataway  and  by  pastor  Miller  of  the  "Plains  Church"  where 
Mrs.  Manning's  parents  were  influential  members. 

Manning  was  connected  with  this  church,  probably  from  the  date 
of  his  baptism  until  the  winter  of  1764,  Nov.  25th,  when  he  transferred 
his  membership  to  Warren  in  R.  I.  Here  he  was  instrumental  in  or- 
ganizing a  Baptist  church  and  became  its  first  pastor  for  six  years. 
James  Manning  was  never  separated  from  his  New  Jersey  relations  of 
family  and  church.     He  remained  identified  with  the   Philadelphia 


Association  and  nearly  every  year  was  in  attendance  at  its  anniversaries. 

During  the  summer  of  1763,  Manning  had  introduced  to  several 
prominent  Baptists  in  Rliodc  Island  the  proposition  to  found  in  the 
colon}'  a  "Seminary  of  Polite  Literature"  subject  to  the  government 
of  the  denomination.  After  some  opposition  to  the  project  from 
members  of  the  established  church  order  in  New  England,  the  Rhode 
Island  Legislature  granted  a  charter  in  February,  1764. 

To  James  Manning  more  than  to  any  other  one  person,  should  be 
awarded  the  distinguished  honor  of  being  the  founder  of  "Brown  Uni- 
versity." While  the  scheme  may  be  said  to  have  originated  in  the 
Philadelphia  Association,  of  which  Mr.  Manning  was  then  a  member, 
its  development  and  full  realization  must  be  traced  directly  to  his  per- 
sistent and  untiring  efforts. 

In  1770,  Mr.  Manning  moved  to  Providence,  where  the  college 
was  transferred,  and  the  following  year  he  assumed  the  additional 
duties  of  pastor  of  the  Old  First  Baptist  church,  "preaching  with  great 
acceptance  to  an  increasing  congregation  with  good  satisfaction  and 
success."  For  a  period  of  twenty  years  he  continued  the  stated  min- 
ister of  this  church,  while  at  the  same  time  he  discharged  his  varied 
and  arduous  duties  in  connection  with  the  Presidency  of  the  College. 
That  he  was  able  to  perform  such  an  unusual  amount  of  labor  is  account- 
ed for  by  the  fact  that  he  was  gifted  with  a  versatility  and  readiness 
which  enabled  him  to  accommodate  himself  with  great  facility  to  every 
variety  of  circumstance.  Rhode  Island  honored  herself  in  sending  him 
as  her  representative  to  the  U.  S.  Congress  in  1786,  at  a  time  when  the 
old  confederation  was  about  adopting  the  new  constitution. 

Dr.  Manning  represented  the  Baptist  denomination,  on  that  mem- 
orable occasion  several  years  before  in  Carpenter's  Hall,  Philadelphia, 
to  which  all  friends  of  religious  liberty  were  invited.  The  convention 
was  held  October  14,  1774,  for  the  purpose  of  preparing  a  memorial 
to  Congress  for  relief  from  oppression  for  conscience  sake  and  for  the 
legal  establishment  of  ecclesiastical  liberty. 

In  the  midst  of  his  usefulness  and  at  the  prime  of  life  he  was  stricken 
down  by  apoplexy.  He  died  July  29,  1791,  at  the  age  of  fifty-three 
years.  His  wife  survived  him  twenty-four  years,  and  died  in  her 
seventy-fifth  year.  They  never  had  any  children.  Both  lie  buried 
at  Providence,  R.  I. 

He  was  symmetrical  in  form,  with  a  commanding  physique,  grace- 
ful as  a  public  speaker,  with  a  melodius  voice,  and  though  weighing 
nearly  three  hundred  pounds,  his  large  proportions  were  not  noticeable 
in  the  easy  delivery  of  his  full  rounded  sentences.  In  a  memorial 
sermon  preached  by  his  successor,  Rev.  Dr.  Maxcy,  is  this  eulogy  of 


his  character:  "The  loss  of  this  worthy  man  will  be  felt  by  the  com- 
munity at  large.  Nature  had  given  him  distinguished  abilities.  His 
address  was  manly  and  engaging,  his  manners  easy  without  negligence, 
and  polite  without  affectation.  His  eloquence  was  forcible  and  spon- 
taneous. His  life  was  a  scene  of  anxious  labor  for  the  benefit  of  others. 
He  lived  much  beloved  and  died  much  lamented."  Judge  Howell, 
of  Providence,  who  was  an  intimate  friend  of  Dr.  Manning,  expressed 
as  his  opinion  that  the  good  order,  learning  and  respectability  of  the 
Baptist  church  in  the  colonies  were  much  indebted  to  his  assiduous 
attention  to  their  welfare.  The  credit  of  his  name  and  personal  in- 
fluence among  the  denomination  had  never  been  exceeded  by  any 
other  person. 

Seven  churches  have  been  colonized  by  Scotch  Plains,:  first, 
New  York  City  in  1762;  Mt.  Bethel  in  1767;  Lyon's  Farms  1769;  Mana- 
hawkin,  1770;  Samptown,  1792;  Westfield,  1866.  Another  colony 
planted  a  church  in  Kentucky.  In  1748,  the  year  after  the  organization 
of  the  church,  it  was  resolved,  "That  any  brother  belonging  to  this 
church  and  not  praying  in  his  family,  shall  be  admonished  and  if  he 
will  reclaim  well,  and  if  otherwise,  he  shall  be  suspended."  Has  the 
vaunted  life  and  progress  of  the  nineteenth  century  bettered  home 
life?  The  use  of  intoxicants  at  f\mcrals  was  denounced  in  1768.  No 
councils  have  ever  been  called  to  settle  troubles  in  Scotch  Plains 
church,  neither  has  any  serious  difficulty  occurred.  Nine  hundred  and 
forty  have  been  baptized  into  the  fellowship  of  the  church. 



According  to  Morgan  Edwards,  Baptists  settled  near  Morristown 
in  1717.  He  says:  "The  Baptist  interest  in  this  part  of  the  country 
had  its  beginning  in  the  following:  "About  the  year  1717,  one  David 
Goble  and  family  emigrated  from  Charleston,  S.  C,  They  being  Bap- 
tists invited  Baptist  ministers  to  preach  at  their  house;  particularly 
Rev.  Isaac  Stelle  of  Piscataway.  By  his  labors  and  the  labors  of  some 
others,  several  were  turned  from  darkness  to  light  and  went  to  Pis- 
cataway for  baptism.  Mr.  Stelle  and  others  continued  their  visits 
and  began  to  have  many  hearers.  To  accommodate  them  the  Gobies 
built  a  meeting  house  at  their  own  expense,  which  was  converted 
to  another  use  when  the  present  one  was  raised.  The  persons  baptized 
who  had  joined  Piscataway,  were:  John,  Daniel  and  Isaac  Sutton, 
Jonas  and  Robert  and  Malatia  and  Mercy  Goble,  Daniel  Walling, 
Ichabod  Tompkins,  Sarah  and  Jemima  Wiggins  and  Sarah  Wiggins,  Jr., 
Naomi  Allen,  Elizabeth  Estell,  Elizabeth  Lines  and  Sarah  Osborn. 
These  sixteen  persons,  after  being  rele;ised  from  Piscataway  were 
formed  into  a  distinct  church,  July  11th,  1752." 

Issac  Stelle  of  Piscataway,  B.  Miller  of  Scotch  Plains,  Isaac  Eaton 
of  Hopewell  endorsed  their  mutual  fellowship  and  constitution  as  a 
Baptist  church.  What  a  wonderful  trio  of  men!  Their  mark  on  the 
ages  will  never  be  effaced  and  their  memory  will  ever  be  associated 
with  the  Nazarene.  Like  him  is  their  memorial.  The  first  meeting 
house  was  built  by  the  Gobies  and  was  located  to  accommodate  the 
constituent  members,  who  all  lived  on  farms  in  the  immediate  neigh- 
borhood; none  living  in  the  village.  In  fact,  the  locality  in  question 
held  at  least  as  many  inhabitants  as  Morristown  itself,  though  a  little 
more  scattered.  Not  till  a  quarter  of  a  century  later  could  Morris- 
town boast  of  more  than  fifty  dwellings  and  a  population  of  two  hun- 
dred and  fifty. 

Pastors  Stelle  of  Piscataway  and  Miller  of  Scotch  Plains  supplied 
the  Morristown  church  for  two  years  until  a  pastor  settled  in  1754. 
The  church  worshipped  in  the  original  meeting  house  for  seventy  years. 
But  it  was  isolated  from  Morristown,  with  the  result  that  its  Baptist 
and  spiritual  influence  was  dissipated  and  more;  Baptist  teaching  of 


an  open  Bible  and  of  the  right  of  each  person  to  think  and  to  teach 
his  own  convictions  of  truth  and  of  duty. 

Rev.  John  Gano  of  Hopewell  and  graduate  of  its  school  was  the 
first  pastor  of  Morristown  church,  settling  in  1754  and  remaining  three 
or  four  years,  then  removing  to  New  York  City  and  becoming  pastor 
of  the  first  Baptist  church.  Could  Mr.  Gano  have  remained  at  Morris- 
town,  its  early  history  would  have  been  different  from  what  it  is.  Abel 
Morgan,  Isaac  Stelle,  Benjamin  Miller,  Robert  Kelsay  and  others  lived 
and  died  in  more  retired  places  and  God  only  can  estimate  their  life 
work  and  so  with  Mr.  Gano.  All  that  region  would  have  felt  the  in- 
fluence of  his  presence. 

The  writer  copied  these  minutes  from  the  old  minute  book  of  first 
Hopewell  church:  "John  Gano  called  to  exercise  his  gifts,  November 
19th,  1752.  He  did  so,  January  20th,  1753.  Licensed  April,  14th, 
1753,  and  ordained  (at  Hopewell)  May  29th  1754."  The  secret  of 
the  abnormal  condition  of  our  Baptist  churches  in  the  earlj'  days  was 
their  steadfastness.  Their  contentions  for  the  "faith  once  delivered 
to  the  saints;"  sermons  and  disputations  on  baptism  and  on  the  terms 
of  coming  to  the  Lord's  table  were  frequent  and  had  the  largest  publicity 
whether  in  Rhode  Island  in  Penepack,  or  in  Charleston,  S.  C.  Rev. 
J.  M.  Carpenter  preserved  these  incidents  of  Mr.  Gano.  He  knew 
them  as  facts. 

Baptist  churches,  especially  guarded  against  the  admission  of 
unconverted  persons.  The  first  happening  at  Morristown  in  Mr.  Gano's 
charge  was:  An  old  colored  woman  asked  membership  in  the  church. 
Being  very  ignorant,  her  case  was  deferred  and  thus  for  six  times.  The 
last  time,  going  down  the  aisle,  she  muttered,  "Well,  Kate  is  a  Christian. 
By  and  by,  she  will  die  and  then  she  knows  she  will  go  to  Heaven  and 
Jesus  will  meet  her  at  the  gate  and  say:  'Kate,  where  do  you  come  from? 
'From  Morristown.'  'Have  you  been  baptized?'  No,  I  went  to  John 
Gano  repeatedly  and  he  refused  me."  Overhearing  her,  Mr.  Gano  called 
out:  "Stop,  Kate,  come  back  here!  You  are  not  going  to  Heaven 
with  such  a  story  as  that,  about  me."  He  baptized  her  and  she  was 
an  ornament  to  her  profession.  Another  was:  Going  from  Jersey 
City  to  New  York,  crossing  the  river  in  an  open  boat,  deeply  laden  with 
passengers  in  a  fierce  storm,  the  peril  of  sinking  was  great.  The  oars- 
men were  most  profane  cursing  because  a  priest  was  aboard.  Mr. 
Gano  was  quiet.  Landing  safely,  he  turned  to  the  boatman,  said: 
"Thank  God,  there  is  a  Hell  for  sinners."  At  midnight,  he  was  awaken- 
ed by  the  man  begging  him  to  pray  for  him.  In  six  weeks,  he  baptized 
the  man  near  the  place  where  he  had  been  cursed.  These  preachers 
were  not  mealy-mouthed.  They  used  language  that  signified  the 


coming  doom  of  the  unsaved.  Our  great  denomination  was  not  built 
up  on  platitudes  of  the  Fatherhood  of  God  and  the  choices  of  the  natiiral 

The  first  candidate  Mr.  Gano  baptized  was  Hezekiah  Smith,  the 
New  England  Baptist  Apostle.  Later  Mr.  Smith  removed  to  Hope- 
well and  Mr.  Gano  was  a  chaplain  in  the  American  Revolutionary 
army  and  heard  General  Washington  say  at  Newburg,  in  1783,  that 
''Baptist  chaplains  were  the  most  prominent  and  useful  in  the  army." 
A  legend  in  the  Gano  family  is,  that:  Mr.  Gano  baptized  General  Wash- 
ington at  Valley  Forge  in  the  presence  of  forty-two  witnesses,  about 
1780.  Later  he  moved  to  Hopewell,  united  with  the  church  there 
and  entered  the  school.  The  writer  copied  from  the  old  minute  book 
of  the  church  as  follows:  "Hezekiah  Smith,  licensed  October  22nd, 

In  the  spring  of  1758,  Mr.  I.  Tomkins,  who  had  been  a  constituent 
of  the  church  and  had  been  licensed  to  preach,  became  pastor.  These 
early  churches  frequently  licensed  and  ordained  one  of  their  members 
for  the  pastorate,  evincing  that  they  had  foremost  men  among  them, 
men  of  culture  and  of  intelligence.  This  also  had  illustration  in  the 
administration  of  colonial,  congressional  and  military  affairs.  In 
fact,  the  better  sort  of  people,  both  for  intelligence  and  education 
emigrated  to  and  constituted  the  masses  of  the  nations  settling  in 
North  America.  Baptists  had  their  full  share  of  men  competent  in 
all  respects  to  manage  and  develope  a  nation,  whether  Huguenots 
of  the  South,  English  and  Hollanders  in  the  Middle  States  and 
Puritans  of  the  North.  Everywhere  from  the  St.  Lawrence,  to  the 
Gulf,  the  need  developed  the  men.  Mr.  Tomkins  served  as  pastor 
till  he  died,  three  years.  It  has  been  written  of  him  "that  he  was  a 
true  man  and  an  efficient  pastor. 

Six  years  passed  ere  the  church  called  another  pastor.  Then  again, 
one  of  the  members  was  called  to  be  pastor,  whom  it  licensed  and 
ordained  for  its  service;  John  Walton,  entered  the  pastorate  in  1767. 
Rev.  Samuel  Jones,  in  his  century  historical  sermon,  preached  before 
the  Philadelphia  Association,  in  1807,  names  Mr.  Walton  as  one  of 
the  eight  pre-eminent  men  of  the  denomination,  who,  he  says:  "was  a 
man  of  superior  abilities,  of  refinement,  of  winning  manners  and  exer- 
cised an  influence  of  a  high  character."  The  type  of  the  members  of 
Morristo\\'n  may  be  judged  of  from  these  men,  chosen  for  their  worth, 
from  themselves.  Like  to  his  predecessor,  Mr.  Walton  lived  only  three 
years  and  was  called  to  his  reward  in  three  years,  in  1770.  Of  great 
personal  worth  as  a  citizen  and  Christian,  he  wisely  saw  an  imperative 
condition  to  the  welfare  of  the  church.     While  pastor,  a  lot  was  bought 


in  Morristown  and  a  suitable  house  of  worsliip  built  on  it.  He  did  not 
live  to  see  it  completed.     It  was  dedicated  in  May  1771. 

Six  months  after  Mr.  Walton's  death,  a  licentiate  of  Piscataway 
was  called  to  be  pastor,  Mr.  lleune  Runyon.  He  was  ordained  in 
1771,  and  served  the  church  eight  years.  In  the  American  Revolution, 
there  was  not  any  report  of  the  church  for  several  years.  But  in  those 
reported,  thirty-four  were  baptized.  While  Mr.  Runyon  was  pastor, 
the  church  doubled  its  membership.  There  was  a  kind  of  alliance 
between  Schooley's  Mountain  church  and  Morristown  in  Mr.  Runyon's 
charge,  which  was  equivalent  to  a  suspension  at  Schooley's  Mountain. 
The  matter  is  quite  obscure. 

After  Mr.  Runyon  resigned,  supplies  ministered  for  the  next  eight 
years.  Then,  Rev.  D.  Loof burrow  settled  closing  his  charge  in  1789. 
From  then,  until  1809,  twenty  years,  the  church  had  only  monthly 
preaching.  Rev.  D.  Jayne  serving  one  year  of  that  period,  and  Rev. 
Van  Horn  of  Scotch  Plains  preaching  for  sixteen  years,  each  month, 
till  he  died.  Pastor  Ellis  of  Mt.  Bethel  supplied  Morristown  two  years 
of  this  time.  In  1811,  Rev.  John  Lamb  settled  for  one  year.  At  its 
end,  Mr.  Samuel  Trott,  a  member  of  the  church  was  licensed  and  or- 
dained for  the  pastoral  office  in  1812.  He  continued  pastor  for  three 
years.  Then  there  was  an  interval  in  pastoral  ministration  for  two 
years,  when  in  1817,  Rev.  John  Boozer  settled  and  was  pastor  for  four 
years.  Rev.  S.  Trott  having  returned  from  the  West,  was  recalled  in 
1821,  continuing  till  1826.     He  was  pastor  at  Morristown  twice. 

Mr.  Trott's  pastorate  was  an  unhappy  event.  He  was  a  Hyper 
Calvinist  of  an  antinomian  type.  Positive  and  an  absolutist  as  con- 
cerned his  opinions.  Like  to  other  antinomians  he  knew  all  worth 
knowing  about  the  secret  purposes  of  Jehovah.  The  poison  with  which 
he  infected  the  church  caused  a  paralysis  lasting  eight  years.  Later, 
he  was  a  leader  in  the  Antinomian  movement. 

The  "next  eight  years  was  a  time  of  trial  to  the  faithful  few.  It 
seemed  as  if  the  visibility  of  the  church  would  end.  The  member- 
ship was  reduced  to  thirty-five  and  these  wide  scattered.  But  Deacons 
John  Ball,  Ezekiel  Howell,  J.  Hill  and  William  Martin,  four  of  the  only 
six  male  members  with  some  noble  women"  preserved  the  church. 
Deacon  Ezekiel  Howell  was  clerk  of  the  church,  thirty-six  years  and 
its  deacon,  twenty-nine  years,  until  his  death.  His  son,  Edward 
was  clerk  forty  years  and  deacon,  forty-two  years,  closing  his  Avork 
at  death.  This  son,  Edward,  was  the  only  active  male  member  of  the 
church  for  several  years.  Deacon  Ezekiel  Howell  withstood  division 
and  disaster  as  long  as  he  lived  and  his  son  Edward,  took  his  place 
with  like  courage  and  saved  the  life  of  the  church  until  he  was  called 


up  higher,  leaving  children,  who  since  lift  on  high,  the  banner  of  a  New 
Testament  church.  The  document  appended,  was  found  among  the 
papers  of  Deacon  Ezekiel  Howell  and  indicates  the  man  of  God.  It 
was  sent  to  the  writer  by  his  son,  Edward,  but  with  no  intent  of  this 
publicity.  His  own  handwriting  styles  it  "Covenant,  August  11th, 
1782,"  and  signed  ''Ezekiel  Howell." 

"Eternal  and  ever  blessed  God,  I  desire  to  present  myself  before 
Thee  with  the  deepest  humiliation  and  abasement  of  Soul,  sensible 
how  unworthy  Such  a  sinful  Worm  is  to  appear  before  the  Holy  Majesty 
of  Heaven,  the  King  of  Kings  and  Lord  of  Lords,  and  especially  on  Such 
an  occasion  as  this,  eA'en  to  enter  into  a  Covenant  Transaction  with  Thee. 
But  the  Scheme  and  the  Plan  is  thine  own,  thine  Infinite  condescension 
hath  offered  it  by  thy  Son,  and  thy  Grace  hath  inclined  my  Heart  to 
accept  of  it. 

"I  come,  therefore,  acknowledging  myself  to  have  been  a  great 
offender,  smiting  my  breast  and  Saying  with  the  humble  Publican, 
"God  be  merciful  to  me  a  Sirmer."  I  come  invited  by  the  Name  of 
Thy  Son,  and  wholly  trusting  in  his  perfect  Righteousness  intreating 
that  for  his  Sake  thou  wilt  be  merciful  to  my  Unrighteousness  and  wilt 
no  more  remember  my  sins.  Receive,  I  beseech  thee,  Thy  revolted 
Creature,  who  is  now  convinced  of  thy  right  to  him  and  desires  nothing 
so  much  as  that  he  may  be  thine. 

"This  Day  do  I  with  the  Utmost  Solemnity  Surrender  myself  to 
Thee.  I  renounce  all  former  Lord's  that  have  had  Dominion  over  me; 
and  I  consecrate  to  thee  all  that  I  am  and  all  that  I  have;  the  Faculties 
of  my  mind,  the  members  of  my  Body,  my  worldly  possessions,  my  time, 
and  my  Influence  over  others;  to  be  all  used  entirely  for  thy  Glory,  and 
resolutely  employed  in  oljedience  to  thy  Commands  as  long  as  thou 
continuest  me  in  life;  with  an  ardent  Desire  and  humble  Resolution  to 
continue  thine  thro  all  the  endless  ages  of  Eternity;  Ever  holding 
myself  in  an  attentive  Posture  to  observe  the  First  Intimations  of  thy 
will,  and  ready  to  spring  forward  with  Zeal  and  Joy  to  the  immediate 
execution  of  it.  To  thy  direction  I  resign  myself  and  all  I  am  a  nd  have 
to  be  disposed  of  by  thee  in  such  manner  as  thou  shalt  in  thine  infinite 
Wisdom  judge  most  subservient  to  the  purposes  of  thy  Glory;  to  thee 
I  leave  the  management  of  all  Events  &  Say  without  reserve  "Not  my 
will,  but  thine,  be  done,"  rejoicing  with  a  loyal  heart  in  thine  unlimited 
government  what  ought  to  be  the  Delight  of  the  Whole  Rational  Creait- 
ation.  Use  me,  O,  Lord,  I  beseech  thee  as  an  instrument  of  thy  service. 
Number  me  among  thy  peculiar  people  let  me  be  washed  in  the  blood 
of  thy  dear  Son,  let  me  be  Clothed  with  his  Righteousness,  let  me  be 
Sanctified  by  his  Spirit  Transform  me  more  &  more  into  his  Image, 


impart  to  me  thro  him  all  needful  Influences  of  the  purifying,  cheering 
&  comforting  Spirit,  And  let  my  life  be  spent  under  those  Influences 
and  in  the  light  of  thy  Gracious  Countenance  as  my  Father  and  my 

"And  when  the  Solemn  Hour  of  Death  shall  come,  may  I  remember 
this  thy  Covenant  well  ordered  in  all  things  &  sure,  as  all  my  Salvation 
and  all  my  Desire,  tho  every  other  hope  &  enjoyment  is  perishing;  and 
do  thou,  O.  Lord,  remember  it  too.  Look  down  with  pity  O  my  heaven- 
ly Father  on  thy  languishing  Dying  Child,  Embrace  me  in  the  Ever- 
lasting Arms,  put  strength  and  Confidence  into  my  departing  Spirit, 
And  receive  into  the  abodes  of  them  that  Sleep  in  Jesus  peacefully 
and  joyfully  to  wait  the  Accomplishment  of  thy  great  Promise  To  all 
thy  people,  even  that  of  a  glorious  Resurrection,  and  of  Eternal  Happi- 
ness in  thine  Heavenly  Glory. 

"And  if  any  surviving  friend  Should  when  I  am  in  the  dust  meet 
with  this  Memorial  of  my  Solemn  Transactions  with  thee,  may  he  make 
the  Same  Engagements  his  own,  &  do  thou  graciously  admit  him  to 
partake  In  all  the  Blessings  of  Thy  Covenant  through  Jesus  the  great 
Mediator  of  it; 

"To  whom  with  Thee  O  Father  and  Thy  Holy  Spirit  be  Everlasting 
Praises  ascribed  by  all  the  Millions  who  are  thus  Saved  by  thee  and  by 
all  those  other  Celestial  Spirits  in  whose  Work  and  Blessedness  thou 
shalt  call  them  to  share.  " 

Amen,  So  be  it. 

"May  the  Covenant  that  I  have  made  on  Earth  be  Ratified  in 

August  nth,  1782. 

This  covenant  was  made  by  Mr.  Howell  before  he  united  with  the 

Toward  the  close  of  1834,  Rev.  William  Sym  became  pastor.  An 
immediate  change  occurred  in  the  church.  From  the  outside,  universal 
respect  was  given  to  it;  the  congregations  grew;  converts  were  added 
and  life  infused  into  the  church.  Mr.  Sym  was  called  to  Newark  and 
closed  his  work  in  Morristown  in  1839.  His  pastorate  gave  an  abiding 
impetus  to  the  church.  Antinomianism  was  cast  out  not  by  con- 
tention, for  Mr.  Sym  was  a  high  toned  Calvinistic  preacher,  but  he  gave 
direction  to  the  currents;  faith  in  God,  supplanted  fatalism;  his  sover- 
eignty inspired  cheer  in  efforts  for  him.  Thus  as  Bancroft  has  said  of 
Calvinism  what  has  been  accomplished  for  the  spiritual  betterment  of 
mankind  and  for  progress  of  civilization  has  been  done  by  men  of 
Calvinistic  ideas. 


A  call  was  given  in  1839,  tc  Rev.  W.  H.  Turton.  Ere  long,  he 
gathered  a  harvest  at  an  outstation.  At  this  time,  came  a  complication, 
nearly  fatal  to  the  existence  of  the  Morristown  church.  Most  of  the 
members  were  scattered  in  the  country.  It  was  proposed  to  move 
and  locate  the  church  in  a  village  four  miles  distant  from  Morristown. 
The  property  in  Morristown  was  ordered  to  be  sold  and  a  church  in 
the  town  had  arranged  to  buy  it.  But  Deacon  Edward  Howell,  living 
in  the  village  where  the  church  was  to  be  located  almost  alone  opposed 
going  from  Morristown.  "A  catch"  about  the  lines  of  the  proposed 
lot,  gave  Deacon  Howell  an  occasion  to  balk  the  sale.  President  of 
the  Board  of  Trustees,  he  withdrew  the  Morristown  property  from  sale 
and  spent  the  night  driving  to  the  homes  of  members  in  the  country 
to  get  a  church  meeting  to  reconsider  the  vote  to  sell.  The  plan  was 
dropped  and  the  Morristown  church  is  where  it  is.  The  meeting  house 
had  been  in  use  about  seventy  years  and  was  unfit  for  use.  Another 
was  built  and  dedicated  in  1845.  Two  years  after,  in  October  1847, 
Mr.  Turton  resigned.  In  the  eight  years  of  his  pastorate,  the  church 
had  made  substantial  growth.  A  new  church  edifice  had  been  built. 
Mr.  Turton  was  a  very  modest  and  unassuming  of  sterling  worth  and  of 
"good  common  sense." 

Months  passed,  and  in  1848,  Rev.  W.  B.  Toland  settled  as  pastor. 
He  was  useful  and  numbers  were  added  to  the  church.  He  closed  his 
pastoral  care  at  the  end  of  five  years.  An  unhappy  pastorate  of  eight 
months  followed. 

The  next  pastor's  coming.  Rev.  Josiah  Hatt,  was  a  kind  Providence. 
An  amiable  man,  intensely  earnest,  of  devoted  piety,  he  soon  won  the 
confidence  of  even  objectors.  For  three  years  he  ministered  and  then 
a  dark  cloud  overhung  him  and  them  and  Mr.  Hatt  went  into  the  wor- 
ship of  the  Upper  Sanctuary,  on  June  16th,  1857.  The  succession 
of  pastors  was:  C.  D.  W.  Bridgeman,  1857-00;  J.  B.  Morse,  1861-63; 
A.  Pinney,  1864-68;  E.  B.  Bently,  1868-73;  J.  H.  Gunning,  1874-77; 
J.  V.  Stratton,  1878-80.  (These  many  short  pastorates  had  one  happy 
result,  that  of  unifying  the  church  by  sinking  individual  preferences.) 
A.  Parker,  1881-89;  I.  M.  B.  Thomp.son,  1889-95  ;S.  Z.  Batten, 

In  1857-1858,  the  house  of  worship  was  enlarged  and  improved. 
The  agitation  for  a  larger  and  better  metting  house  was  begun 
under  the  pastorate  of  Mr.  Parker  was  accomplished  under  the 
pastoral  care  of  Rev.  I.  M.  B.  Thomson.  A  change  of  location  was 
effected.  The  new  sanctuary  was  in  entire  accord,  both  with  the  ma- 
terials of  construction  within  and  without,  and  in  architectural  beauty 
and  adaptation  to  public  worship.       In  size  it  corresponded  to  the 


growth  of  the  church  and  to  the  incerased  population  of  the  town  and 
country.  The  place  was  dedicated  in  November,  1893.  "The  little 
one  had  become  a  thousand."  Mr.  Thompson  closed  his  laljors  at 
Morristown  in  February,  1895,  and  was  followed  that  year  by  S.  Z. 

Lessons  of  moment  occur  in  the  record  of  Morristown  church. 
One,  the  ill  effects  of  short  pastorates.  Another,  the  malaria  of  anti- 
nomianism.  A  third,  the  cheer  of  those  who  wait  and  have  faith  in 
God.  A  fourth  the  power  of  the  individual  for  good.  Ezekiol  Howell 
and  his  son  Edward  are  instances.  What  if  the  Morristown  had  been 
swept  from  its  mooring  on  the  Gospel  by  anti-nomianism!  What  if 
it  had  gone  to  a  village  four  miles  away  from  the  center  of  population 
and  business! 

The  year  in  which  "the  Gobels  built  at  their  own  expense"  the  first 
meeting  house  is  not  known.  The  second  in  Morristown  unnder  Mr. 
Walton  was  dedicated  in  May,  1771.  The  third  was  built  in  Pastor 
Turton's  charge  in  1845.  This  building  underwent  several  enlargements 
and  improvements.  The  first  house  may  have  cost  several  hundred 
of  dollars.  The  last  edifice  cost  sixty  -six  thousand  dollars  and  this 
was  the  measure  of  growth  and  of  increase.  Three  pastors  were  mem- 
bers of  the  church,  licensed  and  ordained  at  its  call,  Tompkins,  Walton 
and  Trott.  Four  pastors  closed  their  ministry  at  death.  One  pastor 
had  a  second  pastorate. 

Rev.  J.  M.  Carpenter  gave  to  me  the  accompanying  facts,  which  he 
caused  to  be  published  after  Mr.  Ford  had  died.  I  have  the  original 
letter  of  Mr.  Welsh,  which  he  wrote  to  Mr.  Carpenter,  containing  facts 
as  published.  Mr.  Ford  was  a  resident  of  Morris  county,  and  therefore 
the  statement  is  made  in  connection  with  the  Morristown  church;  also 
the  obituary  notice  of  Mr.  Ford. 

papers  of  Newark,  N.  J.,  there  appeared  some  months  ago  an  appre- 
ciative article  upon  the  talents  and  worth  of  Rev.  John  Ford,  for  many 
years  pastor  of  the  Presbyterian  Church  of  Parsipany,  N.  J.  He  was 
a  man  of  abundant  labor,  of  original  genius,  an  intense  student  of 
Scripture,  perfectly  familiar  with  the  inspired  originals,  and  a  profound 

The  circumstances  of  his  baptism  are  related  in  a  letter  to  Rev.  J. 
M.  Carpenter  from  the  administrator,  Rev.  James  E.  Welch,  now  of 

He  says  As  agent  of  the  American  Sunday-school  Union  I  preach- 
ed at  Boon  ton  and  Parsipany  in  November,  1839,  and  spent  the  even- 
ing with  Bro.  Ford.     At  family  worship  he  read  his  Greek  Testament 


with  such  facihty,  that  I  said  to  him,  "Why,  Brother  Ford,  you  seem 
to  understand  the  Greek  language  thoroughly,"  He  answered,  "Yes, 
I  think  I  understand  it  as  well  as  I  do  my  owai  tongue." 

"Well,  Brother  P.,  I  believe  you  are  a  candid  man,  and  will  you  allow 
me  to  ask  you  what  you  regard  as  the  primary  meaning  of  Baptize?" 
Said  he,  "It  means  to  dip — to  immerse,  and  nothing  else." 
"How  do  you  reconcile  your  convictions  with  j^our  practice  of  sprink- 
ling children?" 

"Oh,  I  have  not  baptised  any  children  for  years.  When  I  learned 
any  were  expected  for  baptism,  I  made  it  a  rule  to  change  pulpits  with 
some  neighboring  pastor,  and  get  him  to  do  the  baptizing;  and.  Brother 
Welch,  I  have  longed  for  an  opportunity  to  get  some  Baptist  brother 
to  baptize  me   privately." 

"Why,  my  brother,  I  could  not  consent  to  do  that  'as  in  a  corner.'  " 
"Then,  had  you  been  in  Philip's  place  you  would  not  have  baptized 
the  Eunuch?" 

"Yes  I  would;  were  I  traveling  in  the  mountains  and  fell  in  company 
with  a  stranger  who  should  tell  me  his  Christian  experience,  and  con- 
vince me  that  he  was  a  converted  man,  and  demand  baptism,  I  would 
baptize  him;  but  I  would  not  sneak  into  the  mountain  for  the  purpose 
of  doing  it  privately." 

On  Saturday  morning,  November  17,  1839,  I  left  his  house  for  the 
purpose  of  meeting  my  appointment  at  Whippany  and  Hanover,  when 
he  said  to  me,  "I  believe  I  will  ride  with  you  a  few  miles,  as  I  to 
go  to  the  shoemaker's,"  without  intimating  to  me  any  expectation 
of  being  baptized.  After  we  had  rode  a  few  miles  we  came  to  a  stream 
of  water.  He  looked  me  fully  in  the  face  and  said.  "See,  here  is  water. 
WTiat  doth  hinder  me  from  being  baptized?  And  /  demand  baptism 
at  your  hands." 

"Well,  I'll  carry  out  my  creed;  I'll  baptize  you." 
"But  Brother  W.,  I  hope  you  won't  say  anything  about  it." 
"I  can  make  no  promises;  like  as  not  I  shall  tell  it." 
"I  leave  it  to  your  Christian  kindness  not  to  speak  of  it  for  a  season 
at  least." 

"We  alighted,  and  in  preparing  I  found  that  he  had  an  under  pair 
of  pants  and  shirt  on.  I  rolled  up  my  pants  and  shirt  sleeves  as  far  as 
I  could,  and  into  the  water  we  went,  and  I  baptized  him." 

After  a  time  the  transaction  became  kno-mi,  there  was  a  stir  in  the 
congregation  and  the  Presbytery,  but  he  continued  in  the  same  pastor- 
ate until  over  seventy  years  of  age,  when,  according  to  a  long  settled 
purpose  he  resigned.  His  name  is  a  household  word,  and  his  memory  is 
cherished  by  many  who  knew  him. 


The  incident  is  thought  worthy  of  record  among  the  materials 
of  New  Jersey  Baptist  History. 

Mr  Carpenter  writes,  "I  communicated  the  baptism  to  The 
National  Baptist  (Philadelphia)  July,  1876." 

REV.  JOHN  FORD  OF  PARSIPANY .—ThAs  venerable  octo- 
genarian died  on  the  evening  of  the  31st  ult.,  and  deserves  more  than 
a  passing  notice.  He  was  a  native  of  Morris  county.  He  entered 
Princeton  College,  as  we  have  been  told,  in  the  Senior  year,  and 
was  regarded  as  the  first  in  his  class.  He  was  graduated  in 
1812  with  the  second  honor,  missing  the  first  because  of  his 
recent  connection  with  the  college.  A  few  years  after  this  he  was 
installed  pa.stor  of  the  Presbyterian  church  of  Parsipany,  and  remained 
in  that  position  until  he  was  seventy  years  of  age,  when  according  to 
a  purpose,  long  before  made,  he  retired  from  that  pulpit.  His  mind 
was  as  vigorous  at  his  resignation  as  it  ever  was,  and  he  at  once  began 
to  preach  wherever  there  was  an  opening.  His  laboi's  through  life 
and  until  he  was  eighty  years  old  were  very  abundant.  It  was  for 
years  his  custom  to  preach  four  times  each  Sabbath,  and  occasion- 
ally five,  at  points  widely  distant.  He  was  a  rare  scholar,  having 
made  great  proficiency  in  the  classical  languages,  as  also  in  the  French 
and  Hebrew.  When  past  seventy  years  of  age  he  studied  German 
with  great  interest  and  success.  With  the  Scriptures  in  the  original 
tongues  he  was  very  familiar,  reading  and  quoting  both  Hebrew  and 
Greek  Testaments  with  entire  ease.  He  was  also  a  mathematician  of 
no  mean  attainments. 

He  was  a  man  of  original  genius  often  dashing  away  from  the  beaten 
track  and  delighting  his  hearers  with  new  and  brilliant  thoughts.  An 
intense  student  of  the  Holy  Scriptures  and  of  the  Science  of  Theology, 
and  at  the  same  time  not  hampered  with  the  manuscript  in  the  pulpit, 
he  often  soared  into  the  higher  regions  of  true  eloquence.  He  was  a 
man  of  tender  affections.  There  was  no  kindlier  heart  than  his  among 
all  the  contemporaries,  who  with  him  illumined  the  pulpits  of  New 
Jersey  during  the  first  half  of  the  present  century.  His  sympathies 
were  as  quick  and  responsive  as  those  of  children  and  they  knew  no 
abatement  even  down  to  old  age.  He  was  a  remarkable  man,  a  scholar, 
a  preacher,  a  theologian,  a  Christian"man,  whose  decease,  although 
occurring  when  he  was  in  his  eighty-sixth  year,  will  cause  many  hearts 
to  feel  sad.  He  did  a  great  work  and  ho  did  it  well. 
— Sentinel  of  Freedom,  of  Newark,  January  7,  1873. 

On  the  twenty-ninth  of  October,  1767,  eighteen  Baptists  (ten  wom- 
en and  eight  men)  were  dismissed  from  Scotch  Plains  church  to  consti- 
tute themselves  the  Mount  Bethel  Baptist  church,  Somerset  county. 


These  Baptists,  Morgan  Edwards  states,  "Members  of  Scotch  Plains 
had  settled  here  in  early  times."  A  meeting  house  had  been  built  in 
1761.  Their  genealogical  relation  to  Piscataway  and  Scotch  Plains  is 
indicated  by  their  names.  Of  them  many  were  Buttons.  The  house 
of  worship  was  moved  in  1768  to  a  plot  the  joint  gift  of  George  Cooper, 
William  Alward  and  Benjamin  Euyart.  Mr.  Edwards  continues: 
In  "twenty-two  years  the  church  hath  increased  from  eighteen 
to  one  hundred  and  one"  adding,  "It  has  been  a  nursery  of 
ministers:  Rev.  Messrs.  William  Worth,  Abner  and  James  Sutton 
sprang  up  here."  The  extraordinary  rev-ival  in  1786  began  here 
and  spread  to  neighboring  churches.  Pastors  of  Piscataway  and 
Scotch  Plains  preached  here  very  early.  In  truth,  the  early  settlers 
here  abouts  were  Piscataway  and  Scotch  Plains  people. 

Rev.  H.  Crosslej'  was  the  first  pastor  for  two  years;  having  removed 
and  served  another  church,  Mr.  Crossley  returned  to  Mount  Bethel. 
Of  the  length  of  his  stay  in  his  second  charge,  we  have  no  data.  His 
successor  was  Rev.  Abner  Sutton.  Mr.  Sutton  was  a  constituent  of 
the  church  and  was  ordained  in  January,  1775.  Mr.  Edwards  says  of 
him:  "He  was  a  solid  divine.  The  Sutton  family  were  remarkable  for 
producing  ministers.  There  are  five  of  the  Suttons  now  extant, 
viz.,  Isaac,  John,  David,  James  and  Abner.  Their  progenitor,  William 
Sutton  was  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  Piscataway.  He  is  mentioned 
in  the  town  book  as  early  as  1682."  Again  there  is  no  data  from  which 
to  know  how  long  Mr.  Sutton  stayed  at  Mount  Bethel.  Pastor  in  other 
churches,  he  returned  to  Mount  Bethel;  died  young,  but  forty-nine 
years  old  on  Februray  26th,  1791.  A  great  work  of  grace  occured  at 
Mount  Bethel  under  his  labors  in  1786.  Seventy-six  were  baptized  that 
year.  Considering  the  sparseness  of  the  population,  this  was  a  great 
many.  Still  pastor  in  1786,  his  pastorate  must  have  been  many  years. 
Possibly  his  death  terminated  both  his  life  and  his  pastorate. 

J.  Fritz  Randolph  followed  Mr.  Sutton  and  was  ordained  in  1791. 
Mr.  Randolph  had  been  licen.sed  and  baptized  at  Scotch  Plains,  where 
he  was  a  deacon  also.  Mr.  Randolph  was  a  pre-eminently  useful 
man.  His  remarkable  career  of  blessing  is  written  in  connection  with 
the  histories  of  Samptown  and  First  Plainfield  of  both  of  which  he 
was  the  first  pastor.  Mr.  Randolph  stayed  at  Mount  Bethel  three  years, 
accepting  a  call  to  Samptown  his  native  place  in  the  fall  of  1793. 

A  succession  of  pastors  was:  L.  Lathrop,  1794-1805;  John  Ellis, 
1805-13;  when  a  vacancy  of  three  years  occured;  Mr.  Elliott,  1816-18; 
J.  Watson,  1818-26;  M.  R.  Cox  (ordained  in  1827),  1827-48;  E.  C.  Am- 
bler,   1849-1851. 


In  the  winter  of  1850-51,  a  remarkable  work  of  grace  developed. 
Mr.  Ambler  baptized  one  hundred  and  fourteen  into  the  membership 
of  the  church.  Mount  Bethel  is  isolated  and  a  rural  church.  Distant 
from  a  large  town,  almost  a  mountainous  region  and  this  was  an  amaz- 
ing work.  In  May,  1851,  eighty  members  were  dismissed  to  found  a 
church  at  Millington,  and  having  set  their  house  in  order  called  Pastor 
Ambler,  who  accepted  the  call.  However,  Mount  Bethel  church,  in 
December,  1851,  called  Mr.  Timberman  and  he  was  ordained  in  Jan- 
uary, 1852.  But  Mr.  Timberman  closed  his  work  the  next  year.  Rev. 
T.  H.  Haynes  settled  in  1855,  remaining  till  1859.  Several  "supplies" 
ministered  at  Mount  Bethel  and  a  joint  pastorate  w4th  Millington  church 
filled  up  a  period  of  many  years  till  1900.  The  location  of  Mount  Bethel 
does  not  justify  the  expectation  of  a  large  congregation.  There  have 
been  marked  seasons  of  revival  and  refreshing.  Such  churches  must 
be  cared  for  by  the  stronger  churches  and  the  waste  places  supplied 
with  means  of  grace.  Mount  Bethel  has  had  sixteen  pastors.  Mr. 
Cox  was  pastor  twenty-one  years,  and  Mr.  Gibb,  the  present  pastor, 
is  in  his  twenty-ninth  year  (in  1900).  An  early  rule  was  that  one 
member  should  not  sue  another  without  notifying  the  church  of  the 
facts.  Another  imposed  displine  for  the  neglect  of  the  monthh' 
meetings.  At  first  the  church  edifice  was  located  near  Plainfield  on 
the  land  of  Captain  Dunn.  But  later  was  removed  to  a  more  central 
site.  The  life  of  the  church  has  been  peaceful.  Independence  implies 
the  right  of  private  opinion  and  yet  means  the  best  plans  and  various 
ideas  of  policy  and  plan  does  not  imply  intolerance,  but  the  cheerful 
assent  of  a  minority.  Thus  it  is  that  congregational  churches  have 
more  concord  and  harmony  than  hierarchical  forms  of  government. 

Nine  members  of  Mount  Bethel  have  been  licensed  to  preach.  If 
Mr.  Carpenter's  tables  are  correct,  five  hundred  and  fifty-seven  have 
been  baptized  into  the  church.  It  may  be  that  the  mission  of  the  Mount 
Bethel  church  may  be  to  feed  the  city  and  town  churches,  not  alone 
to  keep  them  alive,  but  to  make  them  efficient  and  benevolent. 

The  Millington  Baptist  Church  was  constituted  with  eighty  mem- 
bers dismissed  from  Mount  Bethel  Baptist  Church  in  May,  1851.  Rev. 
E.  C.  Ambler  being  pastor.  Millington  is  in  Somerset  county,  near  to 
the  line  of  Morris  county.  Among  those  dismissed  from  Mount  Bethel 
were  seven  Stelles,  seven  Runyons,  seven  Dunns,  six  Smalleys,  and 
three  Randolphs.  These  names  link  these  people  to  Piscataway. 
The  first  meeting  house  built  for  use  of  Mount  Bethel  Church  was  on 
land  of  Captain  Dunn,  about  three  miles  from  Plainfield.  Their  Baptist 
faith  and  religious  convictions  have  come  down  to  present  generations. 


Rev.  E.  C.  Ambler,  pastor  of  Mount  Bethel  Church  when  Milling- 
ton  Church  was  formed,  was  the  first  pastor  of  Millington  Church. 
Immediately  after  its  organization  he  was  called  to  be  pastor  and  en- 
tered on  its  charge  in  May,  1851.  Next  year  a  house  of  worship  was 
was  Ijegun  and  dedicated.  Mr.  Ambler  resigned  at  Millington  in  1855 
and  was  followed  the  same  year  by  Rev.  A.  Hopper,  serving  as  pastor 
till  1865.  In  1858  a  special  work  of  grace  was  enjoyed.  The  venerable 
and  beloved  Z.  Crenelle  became  pastor  in  April,  1865,  continuing  until 
January,    1871. 

After  him  Rev.  P.  Gibb  settled  as  pastor,  in  1871,  and  was  pastor 
in  1900 — twenty-nina  years.  Affairs  have  moved  on  kindly  and  usefully 
in  these  twenty-nine  years.  Seasons  of  revival  have  been  enjoyed, 
needful  improvements  to  the  house  of  worship  made  and  a  parsonage 



At  a  meeting  in  Elizabeth  on  June  fifth,  1843,  fifteen  memljers  of 
the  Baptist  Churches  of  Scotch  Plains,  Mount  Bethel  and  Rah  way 
assembled  and  constituted  themselves  the  First  Baptist  Church  of  Eli- 
zabeth. Elkanah  Drake,  a  member  of  Mount  Bethel  church,  was  the 
first  Baptist  resident  in  Elizabeth,  who  gathered  Baptists  into  the 
town  into  a  distinctively  Baptist  meeting,  having  in  mind  the  organi- 
zation of  a  Baptist  Church. 

Mr.  Drake  was  one  of  those  men,  who  impelled  with  the  love  of  God 
and  of  his  truth  do  not  wait  for  some  others  to  develop  Baptist  interests. 
Such  experiences  are  an  inspiration  to  seek  out  those  of  a  like  faith  and 
to  devise  "ways  and  means"  whereby  they  can  establish  their  convic- 
tions of  truth  and  duty.  These  Baptists  met  in  a  "select  school  room" 
on  Union  Street.  Rev.  John  Wivill  is  believed  to  have  preached  at 
their  first  meeting  to  a  congregation  of  seven  or  eight  persons.  When 
a  church  had  been  formed,  the  congregation  numbered  from  twelve  to 
twenty  individuals,  and  these  engaged  "supplies"  for  regular  worship. 
Steps  were  taken  to  obtain  a  place  in  which  to  meet.  Eventually  the 
"select  school  room"  property  was  bought  and  reconstructed  for  a  place 
of  worship  and  was  dedicated  in  1843. 

These  Baptists  do  not  seem  to  have  been  of  the  waiting  sort.  Al- 
ready, Rev.  C.  Cox,  Jr.,  was  called  and  ordained  in  1844,  to  serve  as 
pastor.  He  continued  one  year,  in  which  the  membership  of  the  church 
was  doubled.  Rev.  E.  Conover  followed  for  a  year,  being  predisposed 
to  Arminianism  his  minisry  was  unacceptable,  Mr.  Tibbals,  a 
licentiate  succeeded.  He  became  antinomian  and  was  as  uncon- 
genial as  his  predecessor.  These  people  knew  the  difference  of 
arminianism  and  antinomianism  and  did  not  accept  the  teachings 
of  the  pulpit  nor  were  led  by  their  minister  hither  and  thither.  It  has 
been  true  of  Baptist  churches  that  they  know  New  Testament  truth  and 
accept  it,  but  repudiate  tradition  and  personal  conviction,  certain 
that  Christ  and  His  truth  are  of  more  worth  than  human  opinions. 

A  safe,  patient  and  good  man,  a  Baptist,  became  pastor  in  1848, 
and  remained  to  1850.  Financial  arrearages  were  paid;  unity  was 
realized,  and  wholesome  influences  were  exerted  and  Mr.  Turton's 
oversight  was  a  period  of  growth  in  the  elements  of  strength.  Rev. 
J.  H.  Waterbury  settled  in  March,  1850,  and  was  pastor  till  1855.     Ill 


with  a  sickness  that  laid  him  aside  from  his  piustoral  duties  he  resigned. 
But  the  church  hopeful  of  his  recovery,  declined  to  accept  it  and  retain- 
ed him  as  pa.stor  till  his  death  in  January,  1855.  Previous  to  his  illness 
Mr.  Watorbury  bought  and  paid  for  lots  in  a  central  location  on  which 
to  build  a  larger  and  more  suitable  meeting  house.  His  sickness,  how- 
ever, broke  up  the  plans  which  had  been  arranged  for  with  the  Board  of 
the  New  Jersey  Baptist  State  Convention  and  they  were  laid  aside. 

By  an  arrangement  with  the  Lyons  P'arms  church,  First  Elizabeth 
united  with  that  church  in  a  joint  pastorate  of  Rev.  T.  S.  Rogers.  This 
arrangement  lasted  two  years  and  was  marked  by  financial  straits  and 
discord,  so  much  so  that  propositions  of  disbanding  in  Elizabeth  were 
entertained.  Rev.  I.  N.  Hill  entered  the  pastoral  office  in  June,  1857, 
Premonitions  of  a  harvest  in  the  winter  of  1857-8  cheered  all  and  de- 
ferred action  growing  out  of  former  fears.  Christians  of  different  names 
sympathised  with  each  other  in  concerted  plans.  There  was  not  a 
suggestion  of  the  surrender  of  denominational  convictions,  but  a  mutual 
concession  of  the  integrity  of  the  views  of  each  by  the  others  and  thus 
there  was  concert  and  mutual  helpfulness,  Mr.  Hill  became  pastor  at 
this  time.  Amid  large  and  strong  churches  of  different  Christian  names 
they  gaA-e  welcome  and  co-operation  and  words  of  cheer  for  the  new 
pastor  and  the  disheartened  Baptists.  The  Second  Presbyterian 
Church  offered  the  free  use  of  their  lecture  room  in  the  center  of  the 
town,  to  Baptists  for  their  meetings  and  they  shared  in  the  universal 
revival  interest.  Several  were  added  to  the  Baptist  Church.  Spirit- 
ual sunshine  and  refreshing  showers  of  grace  gladdened  it.  Later, 
a  spacious  lecture  room  was  built  and  a  house  remodeled  for  a  parsonage, 
etc.,  on  the  lots  Mr.  Waterbury  had  bought. 

After  two  years  of  sucessful  labor,  Mr.  Hill  resigned  and  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Rev.  G.  W.  Clark  in  1859,  who  was  pastor  for  nine  years. 
Despite  the  revival  and  the  refreshing  of  the  former  years,  affairs  were 
uninviting.  A  debt  had  been  incurred  by  the  erection  of  the  chapel 
and  parsonage  of  nearly  their  cost,  besides  the  parsonage  was  a  small 
and  indifferent  building.  In  fact  the  outlook  of  the  church  was  dis- 
couraging. The  President  of  the  convention  advised  Mr.  Clark  not 
to  settle  in  Elizabeth  because  the  church  was  at  an  adverse  crisis. 
Nevertheless,  he  did  become  pastor.  In  his  charge  the  membership 
increased,  the  debt  was  paid  and  the  first  general  revival  the  church  had 
known  was  enjoyed.  A  mission  was  established  at  Elizabethport  in 
1862,  where  weekly  social  meetings  and  later  in  1877,  Lords  day  after- 
noon preaching  was  established.  The  Broad  Street  Baptist  Church 
was  constituted  in  1866  of  forty-eight  members  dismissed  from  the 
Firrt    Elizabeth  church.     Pastor  Clark  resigned  in  1869.     Under  his 


pastorate,  Baptist  interests  in  Elizabeth  were  put  on  a  firm  foundation. 

Rev.  T.  A.  K.  Gessler  took  pastoral  charge  of  First  Elizabeth  in 
1869,  continuing  until  1880.  A  larger  and  better  church  edifice  had 
become  a  necessity.  The  position  and  influence  of  the  church  had  for 
a  long  time  been  impaired  by  lack  of  a  house  of  worship,  corresponding 
to  those  of  other  denominations  and  becoming  the  city  in  which  the 
church  was  located.  Through  the  offer  of  Deacon  Amory  of  the  grounds 
and  of  a  generous  subscription  for  its  building,  a  church  edifice  was 
built  costing  scores  of  thousands  of  dollars,  nearly  half  of  which  was  a 
debt,  imperiling  the  property  and  a  bar  to  the  prosperity  of  the  church. 
The  location,  in  a  suburb,  was  a  mistake.  The  congregation  was 
virtually  ostracised.  The  house  was  dedicated  in  January,  1872. 
In  1871,  thirteen  were  dismissed  to  constitute  the  Elizabethport  Church. 
The  mission  had  been  established  by  Pastor  Clark  in  1862,  and  a  Sunday 
School  later  by  Mr.   Peter  Amory. 

After  Mr.  Gessler  resigned  Rev.  J.  C.  Allen  settled  in  February, 
1880.  In  his  second  year  the  entire  debt,  forty-five  thousand  dollars, 
was  paid,  indicating  the  great  change  that  had  come  in  the  financial 
resources  of  the  church.  Having  served  the  church  nearly  six  years, 
to  its  satisfaction  and  profit,  Mr.  Allen  closed  his  labors  in  Elizabeth 
in  1886. 

The  same  year  in  which  Mr.  Allen  resigned.  Rev.  C.  H.  Jones 
entered  on  the  pastoral  duties.  In  three  years  he  retired  from  the 
pastorate  and  within  a  short  time  Rev.  W.  H.  Shermer  held  the 
pastoral  office.  He  also  gave  up  his  charge  at  the  end  of  three  years. 
In  April,  1894,  Rev.  W,  E.  Staub  accepted  a  call  to  be  pastor  and  is 
now  (1900)  serving  in  the  office. 

Thirteen  pastors  have  ministered  to  the  church.  The  longest 
charge  was  ten  years,  another  nine  years.  Two  were  errative  in  doctrine, 
and  one,  while  he  may  be  blameless  for  a  temper  with  which  he  was 
born,  was  thereby  disqualified  for  the  largest  usefulness.  Three  church 
edifices  have  been  in  use.  A  property  remodeled  for  its  use;  second, 
one  built  in  1858  and  a  parsonage;  third,  that  now  in  use.  Three 
churches  have  been  colonized  from  the  home  body:  Broad  Street  in 
1866,  with  forty-eight  membership;  Elizabethport,  in  1874,  with  thir- 
teen members.  This  body  was  known  as  East  Elizabeth.  Central 
Elizabeth  was  constituted  in  1877.  Its  relationship  is,  however, 
indefinite.  Central  Elizabeth  being  composed  of  the  debris  of  the 
Broad  Street  Church,  when  it  was  scattered,  and  some  other  Baptists 
living  in  the  city.  The  original  elements  of  the  Central  Church  were 
really  and  truly  Baptists,  men  and  women  to  whom  misfortune  had 
come,  entirely  independent  of  their  personality  or  relationship. 


The  rail  roads  from  NewYork  City  in  New  Jersey  brought  the 
families  and  business  men  in  large  numbers  to  the  towns  and  villages 
within  reasonable  access  of  business  in  the  city.  Some  of  them  had 
accumulated  fortunes;  a  sudden  revulsion,  lost  as  quickly  as  made  the 
wealth  that  had  been  gained.  Elizabeth  shared  in  the  gains  and  losses 
of  the  other  localities  to  which  families  came.  Various  denominations 
had  their  proportion  of  these  migrations.  The  Broad  Street  Baptist 
Church  originated  with  such  influences.  Men  with  sudden  large  wealth 
part  with  it  easily  and  for  schemes  that  appeal  unexpectedly  and  has 
a  promise  of  ample  returns,  the  more  so,  if  being  good  men  they  seek 
opportunity  to  do  good. 

The  First  Baptist  Church  was  said  to  be  "slow."  It  may  be  their 
experience  had  taught  them  its  value.  Fortj'-eight  of  their  members 
caught  the  infection  of  "push,"  not  having  as  yet  learned  that  motion 
is  not  progress.  Receiving  letters  of  dismission  they  organized  the 
Broad  Street  Baptist  Church.  A  brother  doing  business  in  New  York 
identified  himself  with  them  and  gave  choice  lots  and  a  house  of  worship 
which  with  its  grounds  claimed  to  have  cost  one  hundred  thousand 
dollars  was  built.  Other  expenses  corresponding  were  also  incurred. 
For  a  time  money  was  as  in  Solomon's  day  when  "the  King  made 
silver  to  be  in  Jerusalem  as  stones."  Ere  long  the  straits  came,  mort- 
gages were  put  on  the  property,  and  the  end  soon  came.  A  Baptist  in 
Newark  bought  the  proprety  to  hold  it  for  the  church  for  redemption. 
But  that  time  did  not  come  and  it  was  traded  for  some  cheap  church 

In  1867,  Rev.  D.  H.  Miller  became  pastor  of  Broad  Street  Church 
and  was  such  to  April,  1872.  On  the  next  October,  Rev.  H.  M.  Gall- 
aher  was  thrust  under  the  load.  His  call  was  a  dernier  resort.  It  was 
hoped  that  his  peculiar  pulpit  gifts  could  command  financial  resources. 
Temporary  relief  justified  the  hope,  but  with  his  retirement  in  1876, 
the  end  came  and  in  1877  the  church  disbanded. 

In  the  order  of  age  or  beginnings,  Elizabethport  is  entitled  to  be 
considered.  But  as  inasmuch  as  "Central  Elizabeth"  inherits  a  kind 
of  succession  to  Broad  Street  probably  it  may  follow  with  its  history. 
There  is  some  confusion  of  dates,  when  Broad  Street  v/as  disbanded. 
It  was  not  represented  in  the  Association  after  1872  and  it  is  supposed 
to  have  had  a  nominal  existence  until  about  the  time  of  the  organzia- 
tion  of  the  Central  Church,  in  1877. 

Elizabethport  mission  was  begun  in  1862  by  the  First  Baptist 
Church,  while  Rev.  G.  W.  Clark  was  its  pastor.  Deacon  Peter  B. 
Amory  of  thelFirst  Elizabeth  Baptist  Church  in  1870  built  a  chapel 
there  in  memory  of  his  daughter.     For  this  reason  the  chapel  was  called 


the  memorial  chapel.  Deacon  Ainory  before  his  death  had  been  snared 
in  a  financial  panic  that  involved  his  estate  including  the  chapel,  so 
that  it  had  to  be  redeemed  at  nearly  its  original  cost. 

In  1872,  a  renaming  or  reorganization  occured  in  which  members 
of  Elizabethport  Church  took  part,  involving  confusion  of  dates  and  of 
organizations  and  obscurity  overhangs  Baptist  movements  in  Eliza- 
bethport. Rev.  H.  W.  Jones  became  pastor,  and  accomplished  happy 
results,  retiring  from  the  field  in  1876.  The  church  edifice  proved  too 
small  to  meet  the  needs  of  the  congregations  and  the  membership 
increased  from  thirty-six  to  one  hundred  and  fifty-six.  Within  a  year 
W.  H.  Marshall  settled  as  pastor.  On  account  of  the  death  of  Mr. 
Amory  in  1878  and  the  nontransfer  of  the  "deed"  of  the  chapel  property 
to  the  church,  serious  trouijle  arose  and  marked  changes  occured. 

Rev.  A.  Chambers  succeeded  Mr.  Marshall.  At  this  time  a  new 
name  for  the  church  is  supposed  to  have  been  chosen,  Elizabeth  East, 
and  a  reorganization  about  1881  also;  a  virtual  suspension  for  about  two 
years.  Two  or  three,  however,  held  fast  and  maintained  the  visibility 
of  the  church.  Rev.  T.  Outwater  settled  as  pastor  in  1883  and  the 
new  meeting  house  was  furnished  in  1885.  Mr.  Outwater  closed  his 
work  at  East  Elizabeth  in  1888,  after  a  happy  and  successful  pastorate. 

A  call  to  be  pastor  was  given  to  J.  M.  Hare  in  1888.  He  held  the 
office  two  years  and  was  followed  by  F.  Gardner  in  1890.  A  work  of 
grace  adding  many  by  baptism  to  the  church  and  the  payment  of  all 
indebtedness  for  their  new  house  were  characteristics  of  1891  and  1892. 
Mr.  Gardner  resigned  in  1893  and  the  next  Lord's  day,  W.  H.  Shermer 
took  the  pastoral  charge,  which  he  gave  up  in  October,  1896.  D.  B. 
Patterson  followed,  1897-99;  J.  V.  Ellison,  1899-1900.  Deacon  Amory's 
neglect  to  give  the  "deed"  of  the  property  to  the  church,  having  built 
the  house  of  worship,  nearh'  proved  to  be  a  blight  on  it,  and  changed  its 
prosperity    to   discouragement. 

Two  houses  of  worship  were  built  by  East  Elizabeth  Church: 
The  first  designed  to  be  a  gift,  but  redemeed  by  them;  a  second,  built 
by  themselves  and  paid  for.  Nine  pastors  have  served  the  church 
under  its  various  names. 

In  its  last  public  statement  of  its  membership,  in  1872,  Broad 
Street  Church  reported  one  hundred  and  seventy-two  members. 
Central  Elizabeth  in  1878  reported  sixty  constituents.  Letters  of 
dismission  no  doubt  were  granted  to  its  members  when  Broad 
Street  Church  disbanded.  Some  may  have  united  with  the  First 
church,  others  joined  Elizabethport,  some  united  with  churches  of 
other  denominations,  and  as  is  usual,  the  indifferent  to  church 
membership  stood  aloof;  in  the  event  of  one-half  having  thus  associ- 


ated  themselves  and  probably  others,  waited  to  see  if  the  Central 
Elizabeth  Church  would  sustain  itself,  and  presuming  that  in  five  years 
discouragement  would  largely  reduce  the  members  of  Broad  Street 

There  is  evidently  an  intelligent  integrity  to  Baptist  convictions 
of  truth  and  to  duty,  both  in  those  who  constitiuted  the  Central  Eliza- 
beth Church  and  in  Broad  Street  membership,  since  nearly  the  entire 
membership  of  that  bodj'  is  reasonably  accounted  for.  It  speaks  well 
for  the  conscientious  piety  of  these  Baptists,  that  so  many  under  the 
depression  of  the  conditions  and  disappointments  were  ready  to  begin 
anew  and  to  lay  foundations  in  Central  Elizabeth  for  a  Baptist  Church. 
They  knew  the  cost  of  the  patience,  self-denial  and  devotion  to  build 
up  a  Baptist  Church  in  a  staunchly  pedo-baptist  communtiy,  both  by 
the  denominational  caste  of  the  first  settlers  and  in  the  centuries  of 
education  in  which  the  children  had  been  trained  in  the  faith  of  their 

At  the  sale  of  the  Broad  Street  property  another  church  property 
had  been  exchanged  in  part  paj-ment  for  it.  A  Sunday-school  had  been 
formed  in  the  old  building  months  before  the  Central  Church  was  con- 
stituted and  the  Simday-school  was  called  the  Central  Baptist  Sunday- 
school.  The  Central  Baptist  Church  met  for  worship  in  the  same  old 
structure.  At  a  meeting  in  this  house  on  June  13th,  1877,  steps  were 
taken  to  get  the  names  of  those  who  would  constitute  the  new  church. 
In  another  meeting,  sixty  names  were  reported  and  in  this  meeting 
Mr.  John  McKinney  was  called  to  be  pastor  of  the  church  and  a  council 
was  called  to  recognize  the  church  and  to  ordain  Mr.  McKinney, 
who  entered  on  his  pastoral  duties  in  October  19th,  1877. 

Few  things  in  Elizabeth  Baptist  history  have  happened  in  which 
God's  hand  was  more  manifest  than  in  the  coming  of  Mr.  McKinney 
at  this  juncture  to  Elizabeth.  Young,  winsome,  intelligent,  prudent 
he  left  an  indellible  mark  on  Baptist  interests.  In  1882  the  church 
bought  and  paid  for  the  propertj'  they  occupied.  He  continued  Pas- 
tor ten  years.  Uunder  his  oversight  the  church  attained  a  high  posi- 
tion, the  membership  grew,,  the  mistakes  of  former  years  were  forgotten. 

It  is  doubtful  if  a  better  choice  to  follow  Mr.  McKinney  could  have 
been  made  than  the  choice  in  July,  1888,  of  Rev.  E.  T.  Tomlinson,  who 
in  1900,  is  filling  the  office  of  pastor.  As  much  as  in  the  first  pastorate, 
the  Divine  hand  was  directing  in  the  choice  of  a  pastor,  so  also  in  the 
second  pastorate-,  few  instances  occur  in  which  there  is  more  Providen- 
tial direction.  Strength  and  wisdom  have  characterized  the  second 
pastorate  and  the  church  has  reached  an  enviable  position  of  influence. 
The  house  of  worship  that  had  been  the  home  of  the  church  since  its 


orgaization,  was  in  use  until  the  last  Lord's  day  in  1900,  then  the 
church  moved  into  the  new  and  the  foremost  sanctuary  in  the  City  of 
Elizabeth.  Other  houses  of  worship  were  larger.  Another  was  vener- 
ated for  its  antiquity  and  preserved  beauty  of  former  ages,  but  this 
new  Baptist  house  of  praise,  with  its  massive  stone  walls  and  choice 
architecture,  its  multitudinous  comforts  and  conveniences  and  adap- 
tations for  worship  was  a  "thing  of  joy  and  a  beauty  forever."  and 
indicated  the  flight  from  youth  to  maturity.  The  dedicatory  service 
being  deferred  until  all  indebtedness  for  its  erection  was  paid.  This 
sanctuary  is  in  the  central  of  the  city  and  notifies  all  that  Baptists  are 
in  Elizabeth,  not  an  adjunct,  but  in  the  forefront.  Under  Pastor 
Waterbury  in  1854,  this  had  been  an  aim,  but  his  death  disappointed 
it.  The  Board  of  the  New  Jersey  Baptist  State  Convention  had  co- 
operated with  him  in  putting  our  denominational  interests  on  a  broad, 
safe  and  sure  basis  and  though  disappointed,  the  true  men  and  women 
on  the  field  preserved  their  Baptist  integrity  and  despite  adversity, 
and  discouragements  rarely  equalled,  have  attained  their  end.  A 
lesson  is,  that  there  is  no  field  so  hard  but  that  Baptists  will  take  perma- 
nant  root  and  stay.  Nor  a  "creed"  so  fixed  and  universal  that  the 
New  Testament  teaching  will  not  overcome  and  make  Baptists  despite 
education  annd  prejudice.  Eight  houses  of  worship  have  been  in  use 
by  Baptists  in  Elizabeth  and  twenty-five  pastors  have  ministered  in 
the  several  Baptist  places  of  worship. 

Two  Africo-American  Baptist  Churches  have  also  grown  up  in 
Elizabeth:  Shiloh,  ogranized  in  1879,  and  Union,  organized  in  1891. 
Both  own  their  houses  of  worship  with  large  membership.  Pastors 
(1900)  N.  A.  Mackey  of  Shiloh;  J.  H.  Bailey  of  Union. 




Eleven  members  of  Scotch  Plains  Church  i-cceived  letters  of  dis- 
mission to  form  the  Lyons  Farms  Church.  One  other,  a  member  in 
New  York  City,  united  with  them,  making  twelve  constituents,  who 
on  the  16th  of  April,  1769,  organized  the  Lyons  Farms  Baptist  Church. 
Of  these,  four  were  women  and  eight  were  men. 

A  house  of  worship  had  been  built  in  1768.  A  constitutent  of  the 
church,  Ezekiel  Crane,  gave  the  lot  on  which  the  meeting  house  was 
built.  The  church  took  its  name  from  the  owners  of  the  tract  of  land 
on  which  the  meeting  house  v/as  built.  At  the  end  of  twenty  years, 
the  members  had  increased  to  but  three  more  than  at  the  first.  Two 
reasons  were  given  for  this  small  growth:  One,  that  a  colony  of  thir- 
teen had  been  dismissed  in  1786  to  constitute  the  Canoebrook  Church 
(now  Northfield) .  Another,  that  the  church  was  destitute  of  a  minister 
depending  on  Scotch  Plains  and  converts  were  added  to  that  church. 

Rev.  Ebenezer  Ward  was  the  first  pastor  at  Lyons  Farms  and  was 
ordained  at  Canoebrook  in  May,  1779.  Morgan  Edwards  says:  "and 
on  the  same  year  entered  on  the  pastorate  at  Lyons  Farms."  Mr. 
Ward  resigned  in  1782.  For  the  next  seven  or  eight  years.  Pastors 
Miller  of  Scotch  Plains  and  Gano  of  New  York  City  and  John  Walton 
of  MorristoNvn  occasionally  visited  the  church .  Jacob  Hutton  was  ap- 
parently pastor  at  Lyons  Farms.  He  is  spoken  of  as  in  charge  in  1783. 
How  long  he  was  pastor  is  unknown.  Several  years  passed  when  he 
removed  before  a  pastor  settled.  It  is  not  sure  that  Rev.  Mr.  Guthrie 
was  pastor  at  L}'ons  Farms.  He  taught  school  at  Canoebrook  and  of- 
ten preached  at  Lj'ons  Farms.  I'nder  his  labors  there  were  baptized 
accessions  to  the  church. 

From  March,  1792,  Mr.  P.  Bryant  supplied  the  church  for  six 
months  and  was  ordained  in  Septemper,  1792,  and  was  pastor  for  six- 
teen years.  His  impaired  health  compelled  his  resignation  in  April, 
1808.  But  the  Church  was  unwilling  to  part  with  him  and  employed 
an  assistant  pastor,  Deacon  James  Wilcox,  whom  Mr.  Bryant  had 
baptized  in  1793.  The  pastor's  health  failed  rapidly  and  he  prevailed 
with  the  church  to  have  Mr.  Wilcox  ordained  in  July,  1808.  There  is 
no  record  of  when  Pastor  Bryant  died.  He  was  a  man  of  intelligence 
and  of  culture.     While  pastor  he  did  some  important  literary  work. 


"Father  Wilcox"  as  he  became  to  be  known  by  his  loving  people  was  a 
flitting  successor  of  Mr.  Bryant,  who  nominated  him  to  succeed  him. 
Mr.  Wilcox  was  a  farmer  and  continued  to  be  while  pastor  for  the  en- 
suing thirteen  years,  till  August,  1821,  when  oppressed  with  infirmitives 
he  resigned.  The  title  by  which  he  was  known,  "Father  Wilcox", 
indicated  the  place  he  had  in  the  love  of  his  people.  Having  means 
of  his  own  he  ministered  to  the  church  "at  his  own  costs."  This  was  a 
great  mistake,  palliated,  however,  by  the  limited  resources  of  the 
church.  "Mr.  Wilcox  was  a  pillar  in  the  church  and  dearly  beloved. 
He  died  in  1843." 

The  succession  of  pastors  was:  Thomas  Winter,  1821-26;  Peter 
Spark  (ordained  September,  1827,),  1826-36;  James  Stickney  (ordained. 
May,  1836,),  1836-38:  B.  C.  Morse  (ordained  March,  1839,),  1839-41; 
Jackson  Smith  (ordained  April,  1841,),  1841-43;  (An  extensive  revival 
under  Mr.  Smith's  labors.);  William  Leach,  1842-46;  E.  Tibbals,  1846 
(three  months,  till  November);  Rev.  Jos.  Perry,  March  7,  1847  to  Janu- 
ary 16,  1848;  then  Rev.  Thomas  Rogers  labored  as  "supply;"  R.  T. 
Middleditch  (ordained,  September,  1848,),  1848-50;  J.  E.  Chesshire, 
1851;  J.  W.  Gibbs,  1853-55  (Mr.  Gibb's  second  pastorate.);  1857-58; 
B.  Sleight,  1861-63.     A  long  period  of  discourgaement. 

But  for  the  interest  of  Rev.  D.  T.  Morrell  of  Newark  and  a  licen- 
tiate of  his  church,  W.  H.  Bergfells,  the  church  might  have  dis- 
banded. In  the  winter  of  1866,  several  young  people  of  Lyons  Farms 
had  been  converted  and  baptized  in  a  revival  in  the  First  Baptist  Church 
of  Elizabeth.  In  April,  at  a  meeting  called  to  decide  the  future  of  the 
church,  two  converts  offered  themselves  for  baptism,  in  a  few  days 
others  offered  themselves  for  baptism.  Letters  from  residents  were 
given  in  from  Elizabeth  and  other  baptisms  occured,  with  the  result 
that  Mr.  Bergfells  was  called  and  ordained  in  November,  1866.  While 
pastor  a  new  house  of  worship  was  built.  The  frail  constitution  of 
Mr.  Bergfells,  however,  made  it  necessary  for  him  to  take  long  intervals 
and  at  last  to  give  up  pastoral  work,  which  he  did  in  June,  1872,  having 
won  a  "good  report  during  the  nearly  six  years  of  his  pastorate. 

More  than  a  year  passed  when  Rev.  S.  L.  Cox  became  pastor  in 
June,  1873.     Inability  to  support  a  pastor  led  to  his  resignation  in 
1874.     Next  year,  in  February,  Mr.  J.  G.  Dyer  was  called  to  be  pastor 
and  was  ordained.     He  continued  two  years,  to  1877. 

Rev.  Mr.  Bergfells  entered  the  pastoral  office  the  second  time  in 
1878,  and  remaining  to  1887,  when  again  his  health  failed.  A  vacancy 
in  the  pastoral  office  occured  for  two  years  and  in  1891,  Rev.  G.  C. 
Shirk  accepted  a  call  for  a  year  and  for  the  same  period  Rev.  J.  W. 
Turner  was  pastor  till  1894.     For  the  third  time,  Mr.  Bergfells.     But 


in  the  third  year  of  this  third  charge  of  the  same  church  his  health  gave 
way  and  he  closed  his  work  in  1896.  The  church  owes  an  immense 
debt  to  this  devoted  man  and  he  is  an  instance  of  how  real  the  love  of 
God  is  in  a  converted  soul.  The  Lyons  Farms  Church  had  not  in  any 
of  Mr.  Bergfells  pastorates  been  able  to  give  their  pastor  a  "living 

In  1897,  Rev.  T.  E.  Vasser  became  pastor.  The  successful  min- 
istry of  Br.  Bergfells  continues  in  Mr.  Yasser's  labors  up  to  1900.  A 
brighter  and  happier  outlook  cheers  the  people.  Few  churches  have 
had  a  more  severe  test  of  their  faith  and  a  longer  endurance  of  hardship 
and  more  discouraging.  Their  history  is  an  instance  of  "the  persever- 
ance of  the  saints  and  their  geneology,  Piscataway,  Scotch  Plains 
and  Lyons  Farms  explains  in  part  their  tenacity  of  life  and  their  un- 
yielding maintenance  of  their  Baptist  integrity. 

Three  houses  of  worship  have  been  in  the  use  of  the  church :  One 
built  in  1768;  the  second  in  1792;  a  third  in  the  second  charge  of  Mr. 
Bergfells.  They  speak  of  the  aid  given  to  them  by  the  churches  of 
Newark  with  special  appreciation.  First  Newark  was  a  colony  from 
Lyons  Farms  and  though  an  exception  to  the  apostolic  rule  (2  Cor. 
12:  14.),  it  is  fitting  in  church  life  that  the  children  should  lay  up  for 
their  parents. 

Lyons  Farms  Church  has  had,  excepting  pastors  of  Piscataway, 
Scotch  Plains  and  Morristown,  twenty-seven  or  twenty-eight  pastors, 
one  has  had  two  charges,  another  has  been  pastor  three  times.  Lyons 
Farms  has  been  pastorless  many  years.  Rev.  Mr.  Bryant  had  the  long- 
est oversight,  his  successor  thirteen  years.  Pastors  Bryant  and  Wilcox 
served  at  their  own  "cost."  A  gospel  that  costs  nothing  is  usually 
the  most  expensive  and  exhausting.  It  is  not  said  that  other  of  the 
church  members  had  been  licensed  than  "Father.'  Wilcox.  Two  colo- 
nies have  gone  out  of  Lyons  Farms,  Canoebrook,  1786;  (Northfield) ; 
and  First  Newark,  1801. 

We  are  indebted  to  Morgan  Edwards  for  an  early  account  of  North- 
field.  First  known  as  Canookrook  as  stated  by  Morgan  Edwards,  who 
adds:  "The  familes  are  about  thirty  whereof  thirty-five  persons  are 
baptized  and  in  the  communion,  here  administered  the  third  Sunday 
in  every  month.  No  temporality,  no  rich  persons,  no  minister;  salary 
uncertain,  but  they  talk  of  raising  twenty  or  thirty  pounds  could 
they  get  a  minister  to  reside  among  them.  They  meet  in  a  school  house 
ha\-ing  as  yet  no  meeting  house.  The  above  is  the  present  state  of 
Canoobrook,  December  14th,  1789."  and  adds: 

"The  rise  of  Baptist  interests  in  this  part  of  Essex  was  as  follows: 
About  the  year  1780,  Mr.  Obed  Durham  moved  hither  from  Lyons  Farms 


(where  he  was  a  member)  and  invited  Rev.  Reune  Runyon  and  others 
to  preach  at  his  house.  After  him  succeeded  Rev.  Messrs.  Guthrie, 
Grummon,  etc.,  the  means  took  effect  and  the  following  persons  were 
baptized  in  Canoebrook,  viz.:  Moses  Edwards,  Timothy  Meeker,  Thos- 
Force,  Timothy  Ward,  Desire  Edwards,  Sarah  Cook,  Mary  Cory  and 
Cantrell  Edwards.  They  joined  the  church  at  Lyons  Farms,  but 
finding  the  distance  too  great  to  attend  the  mother  church,  they 
obtained  a  dismission  and  leave  to  become  a  distinct  society.  In  the 
dismission  was  included  the  said  Obed  Dunham  and  wife.  These  eleven 
persons  were  constituted  a  Gospel  church,  April  19th,  1786.  One  of 
the  constituents  was  a  soldier  in  the  American  revolution.  He  and 
his  nine  sons  and  two  sons-in-law  were  soldiers  in  the  war.  Another 
constituent,  Moses  Edwards,  was  a  deacon  from  the  organization  of 
the  church  for  twelve  years  and  was  called  then  to  be  pastor  and  held 
the  office  seventeen  years,  until  he  removed  to  the  West. 

Mr.  J.  Price  was  the  first  pastor  of  the  church,  from  1787.  His 
successsor  preached  at  Lyons  Farms.  There  is  a  contradiction  of  dates 
relative  to  these  pastors  and  it  is  vain  to  try  to  reconcile  them.  At  first 
the  church  worsphipped  in  a  school  house,  later  a  property  was  bought 
on  which  was  a  dwelling  house  that  was  remodeled  into  a  place  of  worship. 
When  this  was  done  is  not  written.  After  this  it  was  voted  "whereas, 
three  places  have  been  proposed  in  which  to  build  a  meeting  house; 
Resolved,  that  three  subscriptions  be  circulated  for  a  building  at  each 
locality  and  that  the  house  be  built  at  the  place  for  which  the  largest 
sum  is  subscribed  and  the  other  subscriptions  be  void."  This  structure 
was  dedicated  in  December,  1801.  Deacon  Ball  was  making  ready  to 
build  a  house  for  himself  at  this  time  and  he  gave  the  material  he  had 
provided  for  himself.     This  house  was  in  use  till  1868. 

Rev.  C.  C.  Jones  was  pastor,  1792-94;  Messrs.  Bryant  and  E.  Jayne 
are  said  to  have  ministered,  1794-98;  then,  Deacon  Moses  Edwards 
was  called  to  be  pastor  and  he  is  said  by  some  authorities  to  have  been 
the  first  pastor  of  the  church.  A  successor  has  said  of  Moses  Edwards: 
"  He  had  little  learning,  read  but  few  books,  except  the  Bible,  but 
posses.sed  eminent  natural  gifts;  working  in  the  week  at  his  double 
calling  of  farmer  and  blacksmith,  and  on  the  Lord's  day,  preached. 
The  prosperity  of  the  church  under  his  labors  and  the  warm  affection 
with  which  he  was  regarded,  has  not  been  equaled  since"  He  had  no 
stated  salary,  believed  to  be  a  man  of  ample  "means."  An  instance 
is  not  recalled  in  which  this  policy  was  not  a  success.     Silas  South- 


worth,  Peter  Wilson,  Robert  Kelsay,  Job  Sheppard,  Isaac  Stelle,  Ben- 
jamin Miller,  Reune  Runyan,  James  Carman,  and  John  Walton  and 
others  are  instances. 

In  1815,  John  Watson,  having  been  called,  was  ordained  and 
became  pastor  for  three  years.  Mr.  Watson  stood  very  high  abroad 
and  at  home.  Rev.  A.  Elliot  followed  in  1821  and  was  in  charge  to 
1834.  Mr.  Elliot  was  seventy  j'ears  old  at  his  resignation.  Elisha  Gill 
settled  in  the  pastoral  office  in  1835,  holding  it  till  1838.  An  unworthy 
man  was  pastor  for  one  year  and  was  followed  in  January,  1842,  by  Rev. 
Rev.  I.  M.  Church. 

A  remarkable  work  of  grace  occured  in  the  first  year  of  Mr.  Church's 
settlement  from  which  ninety-six  were  added  to  the  church  by  baptism. 
Mr.  Church  remained  four  years  in  this,  his  first,  charge  at  Northfield. 
In  the  interim  of  five  years  of  his  first  and  second  settlements  at  North- 
field,  Rev.  J.  F.  Jones  and  Rev.  J.  H.  Waterbury  ministered  to  the 
church.  In  1851.  Pastor  Church  returned  and  closed  his  second  charge 
in  1853.  William  Hind  ministered,  1855-65,  whose  infirmities  com- 
pelled his  resignation  and  who  died  September,  1871,  seventy-six  years 
old.  The  following  pastors  served  the  church:  J.  T.  Craig,  ordained, 
September,  1867-70;  J.  L.  Davis,  supply,  1870-75;  A.  C.  Knowlton, 
1877-80;  A.  S.  Bastain,  1881-93;  E.  B.  Hughes,  1894;  M.  F.  Lee,  1895- 
96;  W.  H.  Gardener,  1896-1900. 

Mr.  Davis  began  an  identity  of  interests  and  mutual  pastorates 
between  Northfield  and  Livingston  churches,  serving  both  churches. 
Rev.  William  Hind  united  with  Northfield,  was  licensed  and  ordained 
in  1855,  and  pastor  ten  years.  On  account  of  age  and  sickness,  he  closed 
his  work  at  Northfield  in  1865.  Matters  are  mixed  in  the  historical 
remnants  of  Northfield  and  Livingston  churches.  Pastor  Craig 
erected  a  new  house  of  worship  which  was  dedicated  in  1868. 

There  is  an  indifference  to  dates  that  discourages  attempts  to  under- 
stand events.  Nineteen  pastors  have  ministered  to  Northfield  Church. 
One  had  been  a  deacon  of  the  church  twelve  years  and  pastor  seven- 
teen years.  Mr.  Elliot  gave  up  his  because  of  his  advanced  years.  Mr. 
Hind  also  for  illness  and  age.  Before  the  institution  of  LiAangston 
Church,  Northfield  was  somewhat  isolated  and  of  limited  resources 
inducing  a  change  of  pastors  not  congenial  to  the  people.  Had  the 
members  been  able  to  care  for  a  pastor,  there  is  no  question  but  that 
his  needs  would  have  been  fully  met.  Instance  of  this  is  that  Mr. 
Edwards  received  only  the  "gifts"  which  his  kindly  people  insisted  upon 
as  a  testimonial  of  their  love  for  him.  Two  licentiates  of  the  church 
were  called  to  be  its  pastors.  Deacon  Edwards  and  Mr.  Hind.  These 
held  long  pastorates. 


Northfield  has  sent  out  throe  colonies.  In  1810,  sixteen  were  dis- 
missed to  constitute  a  church  in  Jefferson  village,  which  disbanded  in 
1848.  Seventeen  members  were  dismissed  in  1851  to  form  the  church 
at  Livingston.  The  church  formed  at  Milhurn,  constituted  in  1858, 
received  eight  or  ten  members  from  Northfield.  The  account  of  North- 
fiield  nuist  not  be  dismissed  as  that  of  a  small  and  out  of  the  way  place. 
Its  membership  included  some  of  the  noble  and  most  devoted  men  and 
women.  Such  as  Obed  Dunham,  Moses  Edwards  and  Deacon  A.  Ball 
have  few  compeers  and  belong  to  the  companionship  of  Richard  Leonard, 
Henry  Ely,  Matthew  Morrison,  Enoch  Allen,  the  Wilsons,  Runyons 
and  others,  whom  the  AU-Seeing-Eye  has  noted  as  those  whose  five 
talents  have  won  the  other  five.  G.  W.  Clark,  though  a  licentiate  of 
the  First  Baptist  Church  of  Newark,  was  baptized  at  Northfield  in  1843 
and  for  nine  years  was  a  member  of  this  church. 

Jefferson  Village  Baptist  Church  was  a  colony  of  Northfield  Church 
constituted  in  1810  with  sixteen  members.  It  survived  thirty-eight 
years.  It  had  two  pastors  according  to  associational  report,  and  two 
others  not  reported.  One  of  whom.  Rev.  Joseph  Gildersleeve  seems  to 
have  served  them  for  a  number  of  years.  They  had  a  good  house  of 
worship.  If  in  their  early  days  they  had  had  foreign  help,  as  a  "State 
Convention,"  to  have  supplied  the  means  of  sustaining  a  pastor  of  the 
church  could  it  possibly  have  survived.  Some  are  reported  baptized 
among  them.  The  largest  number  (if  we  are  correctly  informed  by 
the  minutes  of  the  New  York  Association)  reported  in  one  year  was 
twenty-five.  The  Jefferson  Village  Church  was  disbanded  in  1848. 
Very  often  the  minutes  of  the  Association  said,  "no  report."  The  house 
of  worship  a  few  years  later  passed  into  Methodist  hands  and  was  re- 
moved to  Maplewood  and  enlarged. 

A  colony  from  the  Northfield  church  constituted  the  Livingston 
Church  in  June  1851 .  Seventeen  were  dismissed  from  the  mother  body. 
Rev.  J.  B.  Waterbury  first  ministered  to  them,  then  G.  G.  Gleason  was 
called  to  be  pastor  and  later  was  ordained.  His  stay  was  six  months. 
The  church  built  a  meeting  house  which  was  dedicated  in  October, 

In  that  year  Rev.  Thomas  Davis  became  pastor  in  April,  1853. 
Mr.  Davis  was  widely  known  in  New  Jesey  and  was  eminently  adapted 
to  new  fields.  Northfield  and  Livingston  united  under  his  ministry, 
the  pastor  preaching  alternately  in  these  churches  and  afterwards  had 
a  common  pastorate.  The  succession  of  pastors  has  been:  G.  G" 
Gleason,  six  months;  T.  Davis,  1853-55;  William  Hind,  1855;  T.  M. 
Grenelle,  185G-7;  H.  W.  Webber,  1859;  J.  B.  Hutchiason,  1860-62; 
S.  C.  Moore,  1865-67;  J.  T.  Craig,  1868-69;  J.  L.  Davis,  1870-78;  A.  C. 


Knowlton,  1879-80;  A.  S.  Bastian,  1881-92;  E.  B.  Hughes,  1893-95; 
M.  F.  Lee,  1895-96;  W.  H.  Gardner,  1896-1900. 

There  have  been  fourteen  pastors.  Nine  of  them  pastors  of  both 
Northfield  and  Livingtson  churches.  One  of  them  was  licensed,  or- 
dained and  minister  to  both  churches.  A  parsonage  was  built  in  1872. 
Northfield  and  Livingston  are  each  in  Livingston  township  and  not  far 

On  October  18th,  1858,  the  Milburn  Church  was  constituted  with 
nine  members  and,  inasmuch  as  Northfield  Church  dismissed  eight  to 
ten  to  unite  with  others  in  its  organization,  Milburn  is  included  as 
having  maternity  in  Northfield  Church.  In  the  next  December,  Mr. 
H.  C.  Townley  was  ordained  and  became  pastor.  A  Sunday  School 
was  begun  in  May,  1859.  Usually  worship  was  in  a  hall,  but  the  large 
congregations  in  suitable  weather  made  it  necessary  to  hold  the  Lord's 
Day  meetings  in  a  grove,  so  that  a  church  edifice  was  a  necessity.  Mr. 
Townley  resigned  in  1860,  having  prospered  in  his  labors. 

In  October,  1861,  Rev.  Kelsay  Walling  settled  and  labored  under 
great  discouragement  on  account  of  the  large  indebtness  on  the  church 
property.  The  house  of  worship  was  dedicated  in  October,  1861. 
On  the  next  December,  Mr.  Walling  resigned  to  take  effect  February 
first,  1863,  but  the  church  prevailed  with  him  to  remain  till  September, 

In  1865,  Rev.  J.  D.  Merrell  became  pastor  and  occupied  the  office 
till  1869.  Under  Pastor  Merrell  a  work  of  grace  occurred  and  ninety 
converts  were  baptized.  In  January,  1870,  Rev.  A.  Chambers  entered 
the  pastoral  office  continuing  until  June,  1873.  Pastors  following 
were:  A.  B.  Woodward,  1873-76;  C.  A.  Babcock,  1876-77  (ordained 
in  October,  1876).  A  colony  was  dismissed  to  unite  with  others  to 
form  the  church  at  Summit. 

H.  Wescott  settled  as  pastor  in  1877-82.  Happily  he  did  not 
depend  on  a  salary  and  thus  was  a  relief  to  the  church.  The  improba- 
bility of  the  church  meeting  their  financial  obligations,  led  the  church 
to  transfer  its  property  to  North  Orange  Baptist  Church  by  which  the 
debt  was  paid.  W.  E.  Bogart  was  pastor  one  year,  1883 ;  I.  M.  B.  Thomp- 
son, 1884-89.  The  house  of  worship  in  this  term  was  thoroughly  re- 
paired at  its  original  cost  and  paid  for.  Rev.  F.  E.  Osborne  became 
pastor  in  1890  to  1900.  The  Milburn  congregation  is  in  full  o-mier- 
sihp  of  its  house  of  worship,  which  is  unencumbered  with  debt. 



On  June  6th,  1801,  nine  members  of  the  Lyons  Farms  Baptist 
Church,  resident  in  Newark  were  dismissed  from  that  body  to  consti- 
tute the  First  Baptist  Church  in  Newark.  The  minute  of  the  Lyons 
Farms  Church  was:  "At  a  church  meeting  held  at  the  Lyons  Farms, 
July  24,  1800,  we  whose  names  are  undersigned,  being  members  of  the 
church  at  Lyons  Farms  and  residing  at  Newark,  obtained  liberty  of 
that  church  to  open  a  place  of  worship  there  in  the  town  of  Newark  and 
to  attend  the  same  at  all  times,  except  on  their  communion  seasons, 
and  to  consider  ourselves  a  branch  of  that  church."  William  Ovington, 
John  Ransley,  Kipps  Baldwin,  George  Hobdey,  Michael  Law,  Mrs. 
Ransley  and  Mrs.  Law,  five  men  and  two  women. 

An  inkling  of  the  ideas  of  those  days  in  this  record  is  that  these 
seven  say  that  they  have  obtained  "liberty  of  that  church."  We  would 
hardly  ask  "liberty"  to  do  a  good  thing.  The  liberty  to  do  for  Christ 
is  conceded  as  an  inalienable  right  of  every  disciple.  A  most  commend- 
able feature  of  the  above  asking  was  liberty  to  attend  the  mission  ser- 
vice at  "all  times"  and  thus  avoid  the  appearance  of  harming  the 
mother  church  by  absence  from  its  worship,  save  at  its  communion 
seasons.  These  seven  disciples  had  a  clear  sense  of  both  their  obligation 
to  the  church  of  which  they  were  members,  as  well  also  to  the  locality 
where  they  lived.  Evidently  they  were  of  the  right  stock  to  lay  found- 

There  was  nothing  to  encourage  them  in  the  religious  predilections 
of  Newark.  It  had  been  settled  by  a  colony  of  Connecticut  Congrega- 
tionalists,  whose  anti-Baptist  views  had  expression  of  the  intollerance 
of  New  England  Puritans.  The  proprietors  of  Newark  patent  resolved 
that  "none  should  be  admitted  freemen  or  free  burgesses  save  such  as 
were  members  of  one  or  the  other  of  the  Congregational  chtirches."  And 
they  determined  as  a  fundamental  agreement  and  order  that  "any  who 
might  differ  in  religion  from  them  and  who  would  not  keep  their  views 
to  themseh'es,  should  be  compelled  to  leave  the  place." 

The  Presbyterians  by  1801  had  supplanted  the  Congregationalists 
and  got  possession  of  their  properties.  They  did  not  like  Baptists  more 
than  the  Puritans.  A  leader  among  them  said  in  1644 :  "Of  all  heretics 
and  schismatics  the  American  Baptists  ought  to  be  most  carefully  looked 


unto  and  severely  punished,  if  not  utterly  extcrmininated  and  banished 
out  of  the  church  and  Kingdom."  (Cramp's  Baptist  History,  page 
306.)  The  prosepct  was  not  cheering  to  the  seven  Baptists  proposing 
to  plant  a  Baptist  Church  in  Newark.  However,  Baptists  had  secured 
a  guarantee  of  civil  and  religious  liberty  in  the  Constitution  of  the 
United  States  that  made  it  safe  for  Baptists  even  in  Xewark.  These 
seven  Baptists  hired  a  school  house  for  one  year,  agreeing  to  repair  the 
plastering  and  finish  painting  "ye  gable  end,"  as  compensation  for  the 
use  of  the  building.  In  June,  1801,  two  women,  Joanna  Grummon 
and  Phoebe  Hadden  joined  to  the  seven  and  these  nine  constituted  the 
First  Baptist  Church  of  Xewark.  The  growing  town  implied  increase 
not  only  from  nearby  churches,  but  by  converts.  Added  numbers  and 
corresponding  strength  forced  upon  the  church  the  necessity  of  a 
meeting  house.  Lots  were  bought  in  1805  and  in  September,  1806,  a 
house  of  worship  was  dedicated. 

Rev.  Charles  Lahatt  supplied  the  church  soon  after  its  organiza- 
tion. In  1802,  he  was  called  to  be  pastor,  remaining  until  1806,  hav-ing 
the  confidence  of  the  church  and  a  happy  pastorate.  "Supplies" 
ministered  until  March,  1808,  when  Rev.  P.  Thurston  became  pastor. 
Under  his  charge  numbers  of  converts  were  added  to  the  church.  Rev. 
Daniel  Sharp  settled  as  pastor  and  was  ordained  on  April  9th,  1809. 
His  oversight  continued  two  years  and  more.  A  larger  house  of  worship 
was  built  while  Mr.  Sharp  was  pastor  and  his  pastorate  was  shortened 
by  dissentions  on  account  of  which  he  resigned.  With  his  removal, 
the  troubles  developed  very  seriously  and  in  the  next  two  years  the 
church  was  brought  to  a  low  estate  by  factional  differences.  In  1812, 
Rev.  John  Lamb  was  chosen  pastor  and  for  a  year  had  very  little  of  a 
"lamb-like"  experience. 

In  1814,  Rev.  David  Jones  entered  the  pastorate.  His  coming  was 
a  benediction  to  the  church.  Harmony  was  restored,  converts  were 
multiplied  and  the  membership  was  increased.  The  seven  years  of  his 
charge  was  a  period  of  loving  and  prosperous  service.  Mr.  Jones  is 
more  widely  known  by  his  pastorate  of  Lower  Dublin  ( Penepack ) 
Church,  near  Philadelphia,  and  the  high  place  he  had  in  the  councils  of 
the  denomination.  His  successor  for  two  years  was  Rev.  D.  Putman 
and  after  him  for  six  months.  Rev.  E.  Loomis. 

Trouble  and  sorrow  again  befell  the  church.  The  causes  of  its 
adversities  have  not  wisely  been  made  public.  Larger  towns  then  as 
now  absorbed  the  disorderly  element  in  the  churches.  Baptists  emi- 
grated to  America  unfamiliar  to  our  ways  and  quite  naturally  suggested 
their  ways  as  an  improvement  and  with  a  persistence  that  involved 
trouble.     Their  ideas  of  religious  liberties  also  were  very  crude.     To 


many  it  meant  license  to  ha\e  their  own  way  and  a  limitation  of  their 
liberty  to  do  and  to  teach  their  notions  was  accounted  an  infringement 
of  their  "rights,"  ignorant  that  "rights"  had  their  limitations  of  truth 
duty  and  honor. 

That  day  was  also  an  era  of  change.  Antinomians  and  Armi- 
nians  were  each  in  search  for  a  crevice  in  which  to  get  hold.  Missions, 
Sunday  Schools,  temperance,  education  and  religious  activities  inspired 
opposing  parties  with  great  concern  for  the  glory  of  God  and  the  w^elfare 
of  the  church.  Few  of  our  churches  but  have  had  these  contending 
elements  in  either  country  towns  and  cities,.  Of  necessity,  therefore, 
they  were  brought  face  to  face  with  sharp  disagreements.  It  is  a  sur- 
prise not  that  so  many  of  our  churches  had  troubles,  but  that  so  few 
had  and  that  when  they  arose,  they  were  so  quickly  removed. 

Two  years  passed  ere  another  pastor  settled.  In  1828,  Rev.  J.  S. 
C.  P.  Frey  was  ordained  to  the  pastorate.  He  remained  two  years. 
Mr.  Frey  had  become  a  Christian  among  Pedo  Baptists,  but  the  New 
Testament  made  him  a  Baptist.  He  published  a  book  on  baptism  in 
1829.  In  its  preface  he  states:  "At  the  christening  of  one  of  my  chil- 
dren, the  minister  exhorted  us,  observing:  'These  children  are  now 
members  of  the  church,  adopted  into  the  family  of  God,  etc.,  etc'  These 
declarations  appeared  to  me  at  that  moment  inconsistent.  *  *  * 
I  resolved  not  to  present  another  child  of  my  own,  nor  to  baptize  the 
children  of  any  others  before  I  had  investigated  the  subject,  comparing 
the  best  books  on  both  sides  of  the  question  with  the  word  of  God. 
I  came  to  the  conviction  that  believers  are  the  only  subjects  and  im- 
mersion is  the  only  Scriptural  mode  of  baptism.  Therefore,  I  offered 
myself  to  the  Baptist  Church  in  New  York  under  the  care  of  Rev.  A. 
MacClay,  by  whom  I  was  baptized  August  28,  1827." 

Rev.  P.  L.  Piatt  followed  Mr.  Frey  in  1830  and  at  the  end  of  the 
year  went  with  a  colony  to  form  another  church,  which  movement 
proved  a  failure.  For  more  than  six  years  from  August,  1832,  Rev. 
Daniel  Dodge  was  pastor.  Under  his  labors  the  membership  of  the 
church  was  nearly  doubled.  Concord  and  mutual  confidence  were  re- 
stored. Mr.  Dodge  was  a  man  of  influence  in  Newark,  both  in  his 
church  and  in  the  city,  and  eminently  useful.  After  he  resigned.  Rev. 
William  Sym  entered  the  pastorate  in  April,  1839.  He  was  the  same 
type  of  man  as  Mr.  Dodge.  The  church  grew  in  number  and  in  influence. 
Revivals  characterized  his  pastorate,  one  of  which  was  of  especial  power. 
The  house  of  worship  was  much  improved  at  the  cost  of  thousands 
of  dollars.  Both  of  these  pastors  were  men  of  high  toned  Calvinistic 
preachers  and  proved  that  Calvinism  built  up  strong  and  active 
churches.     It  was  feared  that  both  of  them  would  slip  into  the  night 


of  antinomianism.  but  they  were  graciously  kept.  Neither  of  them 
made  pretense  to  collegiate  study,  nor  even  to  academic.  They  were 
Bible  students  and  knew  experimental  piety.  Their  lives  accorded 
with  their  preaching  of  "temperance,  righteousness  and  a  judgment  to 
come"  and  "knowing  the  terrors  of  the  Lord  persuaded  men,"  alike  the 
old  and  the  young.  Preaching  of  its  kind  won  men  and  formed  a  reli- 
gious character  in  the  Pews  which  was  "salt"  and  "light"  of  piety. 

Rev.  H.  V.  Jones  succeeded  Mr.  Sym.  Pastor  Jones  was  a  man  of 
sterling  good  sence  and  had  a  clear  idea  of  the  needs  of  the  Baptist 
cause  in  Newark  and  of  the  means  essential  to  its  largest  development. 
The  church  clerk  in  an  historical  sketch  in  1876,  having  summed  the 
data  of  the  growth  of  the  church  at  the  end  of  the  second  quarter  of 
the  centennial  period  says,  "The  secret  of  this  advance  was  a  more 
correct  idea  of  the  mission  of  the  church,  it  was,  when  this  body  partic- 
ularly under  the  ministry  of  Rev.  H.  V.  Jones  in  the  colonization  of 
the  South  church  in  February,  1850,  reaUy  apprehended  and  began  to 
act  upon  the  Gospel  idea  of  enlargement  by  activity,  that  it  began  to 
grow."  A  fitting  recognition  of  the  special  service  of  Pastor  Jones  in 
Newark.  Under  the  wise  administration  of  Pastors  Dodge  and  Sym  the 
church  had  accumulated  strength,  both  in  men  and  in  "means,"  and 
needed  most  of  all  a  man  capable  of  developing  its  efficiency.  Mr. 
Jones  comprehended  the  people  and  their  opportunity.  He  was  an  in- 
spiration and  his  plans  commended  him  to  the  strong  men  of  his  church 
as  a  wise  and  safe  leader.  His  pastorate  was  from  September,  1843, 
to  April,  1850.  During  that  time  three  hundred  were  added  to  the 
church,  among  whom  were  foremost  men  in  the  city,  men  of  wealth 
of  large  business  pursuits,  masters  in  professional  and  in  political  circles. 
As  the  roots  of  trees  in  the  Spring  send  out  shoots,  so  to  a  vital  church. 

In  the  fall  of  1849,  he  (Mr.  Jones)  said  to  the  writer:  "The  mother 
church  should  build  and  pay  for  a  becoming  house  of  worship  and  then 
appoint  some  of  her  strongest  and  best  members  to  go  out  with  a  colonj' 
that  in  its  beginning  could  care  for  itself  and  be  an  aid  to  the  First 
Church  to  do  city  work."  As  he  said  this,  we  came  to  the  building  now 
occupied  by  the  South  Church,  then  enarly  finished,  and  added:  "We 
do  not  propose  to  establish  a  "mission"  here,  but  a  church  which  will 
be  our  helper  in  like  enterprises."  Those  familiar  with  the  constituency 
of  the  South  Church  and  its  record  in  Baptist  city  missions  of  Newark, 
well  know  how  practically  Mr.  Jones  carried  out  his  ideas  of  church 
expansion  and  whether  the  South  church  has  justified  his  policy. 
Conducting  the  writer  thence  to  a  comer  on  Broad  street,  and  pointing 
to  an  angle^on  that  street,  seen  for  a  long  distance,  Mr.  Jones  said: 
'That  is  the  most  prominent  place  in  Newark.     We  are  assured  that 


when  its  title  is  perfected  we  will  own  it.  The  meeting  house  of  the 
First  Baptist  Church  will  be  built  there."  It  has  been  said  to  the  writer 
that  the  Peddie  memorial  building  is  on  that  site.  If  so,  the  forecast 
of  Mr.  Jones  was  remarkable.  The  historian  of  the  First  Baptist  Church 
of  Newark  has  truly  said,  that  Mr.  Jones  left  the  church"  harmonious 
and  highly  prosperous."  His  removal  would  be  a  mysterious  provi- 
dence did  we  not  know  that  Rev.  H.  C.  Fish  would  follow  him,  whosa 
memory  and  work  will  be  an  everlasting  remembrance  at  home  in 
New  Jersey. 

The  same  year  in  which  Mr.  Jones  resigned,  1850,  Rev.  E.  E.  Cum- 
mings  became  pastor,  remaining  only  a  year  and  resigned  for  the  same 
reason  as  had  Mr.  Jones,  ill  health.  Rev.  H.  C.  Fish  began  his  charge 
in  1851  with  eminently  favorable  conditions.  Under  Pastor  Jones 
foundations  had  been  laid,  inspiration  acquired,  direction  of  local 
activities  attained,  men  of  power,  of  wealth  and  of  appreciation  had 
been  added  to  the  church,  all  of  which  under  the  executive  force  of  and 
direction  of  such  a  man  as  H.  C.  Fish  would  be  put  to  the  highest  and 
best  use.  The  event  proved  that  the  right  man  had  been  put  in  the 
right  place. 

Rev.  G.  W.  Clark  was  asked  by  the  writer  to  prepare  a  memorial 
of  Mr.  Fish,  and  with  some  abbreviations  is  inserted:  "H.  C.  Fish  was 
born  in  Vermont,  his  father.  Rev.  Samuel  Fish  was  pastor  for  more 
than  forty  years,  of  the  Baptist  church  in  the  town  in  which  he  and 
his  son,  H.  C.  Fish,  were  born.  When  sixteen  years  old,  the  son  united 
with  his  father's  church  in  1836.  Of  studious  habits  and  academic 
training  for  teaching,  the  son  came  to  New  Jersey  in  1840  and  taught 
for  two  years.  Impressed  that  he  ought  to  preach,  Mr.  Fish  entered 
Union  Theological  Seminary  in  1842.  Graduating  in  1845,  the  next 
day  he  was  ordained  for  the  pastorate  at  Somerville  on  June  26th,  1845. 
The  church  at  Somerville  prospered  under  his  labors  at  and  the  end 
of  five  years,  first  Newark  called  hbn,  (Mr.  Cummings  having  resigned) 
and  Mr.  Fish  became  pastor  there  in  January,  1851.  His  intense 
activity  had  a  result  that  in  almost  every  month  of  his  long  pas,torate 
converts  were  baptized  and  great  revivals  were  enjoyed  in  1854,  1858 
1864,  1866,  1876,  in  these  revivals  there  were  baptized  106,  236,  125 
152,  224.  In  other  years,  scores  were  baptized.  In  the  nearly 
twenty-seven  years  of  his  charge  in  Newark,  more  than  fourteen  hundred 
were  baptized  and  the  membership  was  increased  from  340  to  1199. 

In  1851,  there  were  three  Baptist  churches  in  Newark  (one  a  Ger- 
man Baptist,  the  other  the  South  church,  both  originated  under  Mr. 
Jones).  These  three  had  a  membership  of  five  hundred  and  thirty- 
five  in  1877,  the  year  in  which  Mr.  Fish  died  there  were  ten  churches 


with  three  thousand  and  fifty-five  members.  Mr.  Fish  had  a  large 
part  in  the  origin  of  these  churches,  that  were  located  in  the  central 
points  of  the  growing  cit)'. 

Pastor  Fish's  plan  of  increase  differed  widely  from  that  of  Pastor 
Jones.  Mr.  Jones  would  build  a  substantial  roomy  house  of  worship 
as  in  the  case  of  the  South  church  and  colonize  a  strong  church  that 
would  be  an  immediate  helper  in  evangelization.  Mr.  Fish  proposed 
cheap  chapels  for  temporary  use,  to  be  supplanted  by  a  substantial 
meting  house.  The  first  plan  commanded  attention;  invited  mem- 
bership and  returns  were  immediate.  The  last  involved  delay,  repelled 
membenship  by  the  prospect  of  large  future  cost.  The  South  church 
was  quite  as  efficient  at  the  first  church,  in  the  promotion  of  Baptist 
interests  in  Newark,  if  not  more  so. 

The  increase  of  the  membership  and  of  its  congregation  of  the  first 
church  required  a  larger  church  edifice.  A  new  location  was  bought 
in  1858  and  the  house  begun.  It  was  dedicated  in  1860  and  paid  for 
in  1863.  During  the  Civil  War,  1861-65,  the  first  church  was  a  center 
of  patriotic  interest.  Mass  meetings  were  held  in  its  house  and  one 
hundred  and  seventy-two  of  its  members  and  congregation  enlisted  in 
the  armies.  The  pastor  was  drafted  and  the  church  sent  a  substitute 
in  his  place. 

The  denominational,  educational  interests  of  the  state  had  a  large 
place  in  the  work  of  Pastor  Fish.  He  was  secretary  of  the  New  Jersey 
Education  Society  for  twenty-three  years  and  had  a  primary  part  in 
founding  the  German  department  of  Rochester  University.  Denom- 
inational schools  in  the  state  shared  fully  in  his  labors.  He  was  one  of 
the  most  devoted  friends  of  Peddle  Institute  and  in  the  last  twelve 
years  of  his  life  gave  to  it,  his  best  thoughts  and  plans.  Through  him, 
the  foremost  members  of  his  church  were  identified  with  the  school. 
Two  deacons,  D.  M.  Wilson  and  Hon,  T.  B.  Peddle,  were  presidents 
of  its  Board.  To  Mr.  Wilson  is  due  the  erection  of  the  spacious  and 
beautiful  building  Peddle  Institute  occupies.  Mr.  Peddle  followed 
as  President  at  Mr.  Wilson's  death,  from  whom  also,  its  endowments 
of  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars  came,  having  previously 
given  to  cancel  arrearages  fifty  thousand  dollars.  The  nearly  last 
words  of  Mr.  Fish  were  said  to  Jlr.  Peddle:  "Brother  Peddle,  take  care 
of  Hight^town." 

Pastor  Fish  was  a  busy  writer,  publishing  as  many  as  nine  volumes. 
Some  were  prize  essays,  published  by  the  Boards  of  other  denominations. 
He  contributed  also,  frequent  articles  to  the  daily  and  religious  press. 
The  two  last  years  of  his  life  were  intense  in  their  activities.  In  July, 
1877,   physical  prostration  compelled  him  to  stop.     His  last  hours 


corresponded  with  his  life.  ''Don't  say  death,"  he  exclaimed:  "I  shall 
soon  be  on  the  other  side.  H.  C.  Fish  is  nothing;  the  grace  of  God  is 
everything."  Of  the  service  at  his  funeral  he  said:  "Let  it  be  a  plan  of 
victory,  the  shout  of  him  that  overcometh  through  the  Blood  of  the 
Lamb."  As  passing  away,  friends  could  only  catch  in  broken  words, 
"I  have  fought,"  and  he  was  gone  October  3rd,  1877,  in  his  58th  year. 
The  sense  of  loss  in  Newark  was  universal.  It  is  stated  that  ten  thous- 
and people  looked  upon  the  silent  one.  More  than  one  hundred  clergy- 
men were  present  at  the  burial.  Mr.  Fish  had  preached  over  four 
thousand  sermons  and  addresses,  and  had  made  twenty  thousand  visits. 
We  know  that  the  fruitage  of  these  labors,  none  of  it  will  be  lost. 

Rev.  Thomas  Rambaut  entered  the  pastorate  in  1878  and  re- 
mained three  years.  He  was  an  able  preacher  and  had  attained  a  high 
place  in  the  mmistry.  But  whoso  follows  a  successful  pastor,  enters 
on  a  serious  task.  Reaction  invariably  follows.  Unfavorable  contrasts 
are  made  and  disgruntled  ones  talk,  if  perchance  the  new  pastor  makes 
a  misstep  or  in  any  wise  gives  occasion  for  remark.  In  1883,  Rev.  E.  G. 
Taylor  became  pastor.  His  labors  for  three  years  were  profitable  for 
the  church. 

After  him.  Rev.  W.  W.  Boyd  settled  as  pastor  in  1887,  and  closed 
his  labors  in  1894.  The  spacious  house  of  worship,  which  had  been 
dedicated  in  1860,  was  sold  and  lots  in  a  more  public  place  bought  and 
a  new  edifice  built.  The  church  edifice  is  a  nondescript  affair.  It 
cost  about  two  hundred  thousand  dolars,  of  which  Mr.  Peddle  was 
the  chief  donor.  Soon  after,  the  name  of  the  church  was  changed  to 
Peddle  memorial.  It  is  said  that  Mr.  Boyd  had  more  to  do  with  the 
change  of  name  than  Mr.  Peddle.  Mr  Peddle  was  a  verj^  modest  man, 
upon  whom  such  a  name  must  needs  be  thrust.  The  house  sacrificed 
convenience  and  comfort  for  display  and  the  man  who  planned  and 
built  would  be  surely  asked  for  and  his  folly  would  be  his  memorial. 
Happily,  the  structure  is  never  likely  to  be  imitated.  Pastors  and 
churches  preferring  convenience  and  suitability  to  show\  This 
was  dedicated  in  1890. 

Within  a  short  time  after  Mr.  Boyd's  resignation,  Rev.  C.  H.  Dodd 
was  called  to  be  pastor  and  is  now  (1900)  holding  the  office.  First 
Newark  church  and  first  Paterson  church  have  been  much  alike  in  their 
aggressive  work  in  the  cities  in  which  they  are.  In  Newark,  the  pastors 
were  the  inciting  force.  At  Paterson  the  membership  did  not  wait 
for  pastoral  impulse.  But,  A.  W.  Rogers,  M.  D.,  son  of  the  revered 
Rev.  John  Rogers,  lived  in  Paterson  and  was  an  impelling  influence. 
There  was  however,  mutual  co-operation  in  both  places. 


First  Newark  is  not  credited  with  colonizing  others  than  the  "South 
church"  and  the  First  Gennan  Baptist,  and  yet,  all  of  the  Baptist 
churches  there  owe  their  existence  substantially  to  the  mission  work 
which  was  sustained  by  the  first  and  by  the  South  church